Star Trek: First Contact

3.5 stars

Theatrical release: 11/22/1996
PG-13; 1 hr. 51 min.
Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga & Ronald D. Moore
Screenplay by Brannon Braga & Ronald D. Moore
Produced by Rick Berman
Directed by Jonathan Frakes

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Someone once said, 'Don't try to be a great man, just be a man, and let history make its own judgments'."
"That's rhetorical nonsense. Who said that?"
"You did... ten years from now."

— William Riker and Zefram Cochrane

December 11, 1996

Nutshell: Very good stuff. Probably the best of all Trek films, with an involving story and a skillful, even-handed approach.

Star Trek: First Contact is one of the best Star Trek films — probably the best Trek film — definitely the most even-handed. It successfully balances just about every element I believe a good Trek film should have — superior production and special effects, plenty of humor and fun, involving conflicts and problems that must be overcome, and a compelling story with human themes and values consistent with Gene Roddenberry's optimistic vision. All of it is wrapped into a very neat package of plotting and pacing. It's good Star Trek, and it's good cinema.

As an added bonus, First Contact brings back the Borg, perhaps the most interesting and menacing race of villains in the history of Trek. Ever since their introduction in TNG's second season episode "Q Who," the Borg have been the most compelling threat to the Federation. In that episode, they were simply hungry for any technology that was different and new. Negotiation was not a factor; they wanted your stuff, they were without a doubt bigger and stronger, their hive-like collective was overwhelming, and if you resisted them, they would destroy you.

A little more than a year later in "The Best of Both Worlds," the writers clarified another element of the Borg that made them even more terrifying — the fact that they wanted not only your technology but also you — they wanted to turn you into a mindless drone, to strip you of your individuality and add you to their single-minded collective. Unlike the relatively boring and simple-minded aliens of Independence Day, who simply wanted to destroy everyone and everything in their path, the Borg instead threaten you with a fate worse than death: Their goal is to absorb people and technology and forcibly make you one of them, so that you will become one in their hive of conquerors.

That Borg ship was destroyed, but not before they assimilated Captain Picard into their collective and stripped him of his individuality, which was only regained after the cunning intervention of the Enterprise crew. Now the Borg have returned, and they're again bent on doing whatever it takes to assimilate Earth.

First Contact opens with a powerful and magnificent-looking shot — part of a flashback dream sequence that begins as an extreme close-up of Captain Picard's eyeball, and then tracks back to reveal Picard standing in a Borg module on a Borg ship. The camera continues to track backward for what seems like miles, showing what must be millions of Borg drones on the massive vessel collective — of which Picard has forcibly become part of. Picard suddenly awakens in his ready room aboard the new Sovereign-class Enterprise-E, which, we learn, has been in service for nearly a year now.

A message comes through from Starfleet Command. The Borg have been identified in Federation space, and they're on a direct course for Earth; and as Picard states, this time there may be no stopping them. Further, Starfleet orders Picard away from the battle — they fear his past assimilation by the Borg may instigate an unstable element to an already-volatile situation.

Well, no points for guessing that once the Borg start pounding on the Starfleet ships and the losses start rolling in Picard takes it upon himself to violate direct orders and engage the Enterprise in battle. What's surprising here is the speed with which the film launches itself. Unlike in Generations two years ago, little time is wasted here on old jokes or the reintroduction of the TNG cast (a nature of the film that keeps the plot taut and should actually increase accessibility for non-Trekkers). Within ten minutes of the opening credits, the Enterprise is in the heat of battle with the immense Borg cube — as is the Defiant, commanded by Worf, apparently ordered to the battlefield as part of a reinforcement effort.

I must say, seeing a Trek battle of this magnitude on the big screen — especially with that huge Borg ship — is a sight that probably alone is worth the price of admission. It looks great. Particularly attractive are the organic motions of the Defiant, which flies around the screen with such graceful, eye-pleasing movements that it makes war look almost like choreography.

Perhaps one negative aspect about the initial battle with the Borg is that it ends a little too abruptly and easily. As Starfleet's resident expert on the Borg and their weaknesses, Picard orders the fleet to concentrate their fire on a specific point, which destroys the Borg cube in a nifty pyrotechnic display. But this victory transpires a little more easily than it really should have — especially considering Picard's aforementioned notion that "this time there may be no stopping them." By beating the Borg in five minutes under only partially explained circumstances, the threat feels a little less real than I hoped it would have, not up to the level of the Borg assault on Earth back in "Best of Both Worlds."

But there's a flip side to this coin. Like I said, First Contact wastes very little time — the pace of the movie is pretty fast, and once the Borg cube is destroyed and the damaged Defiant crew is beamed aboard the Enterprise, the main plot takes off. You see, just before it explodes, the Borg cube launches a smaller sphere which creates a "temporal matrix" that allows it to travel back to the latter half of 21st century. While in pursuit, the Enterprise is caught in a temporal wake, and upon realizing that the Borg intend to change history by assimilating Earth in the past, Picard decides he must follow the Borg back and prevent such an occurrence.

Okay, so it's Yet Another Time Travel Plot. Time travel can be dangerous territory in terms of plausibility, because it sets up the possibility of the all-encompassing Time Paradox. Fortunately, the film steers clear of most of the technobabble and confusion, and wisely delves into its story. Still, time travel has been done on Trek so many times (Star Trek IV, Generations, and numerous episodes of TOS, TNG, DS9, and Voyager), sometimes without success. There are a few things about First Contact's logic of time travel that annoy me, like, for example, how time suddenly became something that the Borg could manipulate at will, and how the Enterprise reconfigures the time matrix at the end of the film to get back to their time period. Such complaints are minor, however — the importance here is the story once the movie goes into the past, which easily makes the ends justify the means.

The Borg and the Enterprise arrive at Earth, April 4, 2063 — shortly after the widespread destruction of World War III that leaves the planet particularly susceptible to an invasion; but, more importantly, as the crew quickly notes, this date is the day before the historic "first contact" between humans and intelligence beyond the solar system, which is supposed to take place when Zefram Cochrane (James Cromwell), the Montana-based inventor of warp drive among humans, takes a test flight in his revolutionary space craft, to the interest of some extra-terrestrials who are passing near Earth's star system.

The Borg want to prevent first contact and assimilate humanity, but the Enterprise intervenes and destroys the Borg sphere. Before the loss of their ship, however, the Borg are able to beam a small invasion party aboard the Enterprise, and begin assimilating the ship and its crew like a cancer from the inside.

From here, the story divides into three narratives. One involves Picard, Worf, and the Enterprise crew's efforts to contain the Borg from taking over the ship. A second centers around Data, who is kidnapped by the Borg during a confrontation and taken to the lower decks they control where they attempt to assimilate him into their collective under the command of an element new to Borg milieu — the Borg Queen (Alice Krige), a single entity who represents the mind behind a massive collective of drones. A third follows Riker, Geordi, and Deanna's attempts to see to it Cochrane's warp flight goes through as history plans.

The type of movement between different plot lines exercised in First Contact is nothing unfamiliar to Trekkian story structure, but under Frakes' tempered direction, the plot holds together just fine and scenes work. Most importantly, the plot proves consistently interesting and the story remains involving. The key to the film is its big picture — the way it works all of its elements into a coherent, cohesive whole in which each development manages to be something both entertaining and relevant.

Picard's fight for the Enterprise takes an understandable and sturdy character-driven turn — that of vengeance. The motif begins subtly; such lines as Picard's order, "Don't hesitate to fire on crew members who have been assimilated," make sense in their context, but also add to the bigger agenda — that of Picard and his hatred of the Borg for what they do to any who stand in their path, and — more specifically — what they did to him six years ago. The vengeance factor present here is deftly executed, thanks in part to another of Patrick Stewart's convincing performances. But another important aspect here is in the screenplay's ability to make points about this theme. For this purpose the writers have a character named Lily Sloane (Alfre Woodard), Cochrane's 21st century assistant who winds up lost in the bowels of the Enterprise after a series of events. Sloane is smart, and she makes some keen observations about Picard's situation, at one point drawing a very pointed comparison between Picard and Captain Ahab of Moby Dick. Woodard's energy is very commendable; she and Stewart work well together in a host of scenes of varying depth.

It's clear that Picard allows his anger to cloud his judgment, particularly when he refuses to arm the Enterprise's self-destruct sequence and orders the futile fight for control of his ship to continue. This throws him into conflict with Worf in a charged scene filled with fiery words. Conflict is tough to do amongst the TNG cast, but the filmmakers pull it off here by making Picard decidedly wrong and, further, insulting Worf for trying to set him right. Based on TNG's history between Worf and Picard, Worf's very Klingon response to Picard's insults seems sincere: "If you were any other man, I would kill you where you stand." Pretty startling. (If the later scene where the two make up seems a tad easy, remind yourself that this is the TNG cast we're talking about.)

The entire revenge theme speaks for itself much of the time, and it's a credit to the writers that the film looks at the situation from so many perspectives. In one way it's easy for us as the audience to hate the Borg and the relentless strive toward oneness and mass consumption they represent (especially those of us who so vividly remember Picard's experience in "The Best of Both Worlds"). On the other hand, many of the Borg now trying to alter history used to be members of the Enterprise crew, and it's unsettling to watch Picard barely bat an eye after damn near enjoying gunning down a Borg (in an elaborate holodeck sequence) who used to be one of his own ensigns. Of the themes in First Contact, this is the heaviest and most complex, and the writers give it the analysis it deserves.

As Picard and the crew attempt to quash the Borg cancer, Data finds himself in the position Picard was six years ago — on the Borg "operating table," where they attempt to turn him into one of them. For some reason, the Borg take a particular interest in Data; they see him as the key to the human puzzle that has defeated them once already. There are a host of intriguing exchanges between Data and the Borg Queen, with some dialog that's really on the mark. Data's quest for humanity has always been something pervasive on TNG, but here the dialog reveals another purpose — it underlines the evil in Borg oneness. Whereas Data's quest is a search for his own human individuality, the Borg simply conquer and force their way of life on others, in their effort to become a more "perfect" network of drones. And as Data so rightly points out to the Borg Queen, "to think of oneself as perfect is often the feat of a delusional mind." The Queen has some retorts of her own, and knows that Data's quest for human feelings is his weakness and goes so far as to tempt him closer to the Borg collective with human flesh, grafting it onto his circuitry for true skin sensations. It's a witty and ironic approach by the script, that the key to the Borg's removal of humanity from humans would be in giving Data more distinctly human characteristics.

The Borg Queen turns out to be one of the film's most interesting characters, partly in the way the filmmakers realize her — both physically and mentally — but also because of Krige's skillful rendition of a calm, seductive personality who aims to simultaneously consume and create Data anew, as well as humanity along with him. (A particularly nice display of the Queen's sense of superior tranquillity comes when Data attempts to escape but freezes in pain when cut on his newfound flesh by Borg drones. The Queen simply waves her hands and the drones disperse in random directions, like a group of mindless insects. A very neat touch.) Michael Westmore's makeup designs for the Queen, as well as the rest of the Borg, are great — slick, creative, interesting to the eye, and very, well, Borg.

Noteworthy in the Data/Queen scenes are Data's emotional responses of fear and subdued anger — appropriately utilized rather than released to run amok like in Generations. (This makes sense, since Data would have learned much about controlling his feelings since that time.)

As the Enterprise copes with its problems, the script also supplies a lighter story as Riker and Geordi attempt to convince Zefram Cochrane that he's really a key figure in the future and that humanity is within a day of being forever changed for the better. While the Borg-centered angle of the story supplies issues of individuality and survival, this part of the story is the true, Trekkian "heart" of the film. It deals with humanity and how it views itself in the prospect of change. Riker's explanations to Cochrane about how much the world will change after first contact is one of the many highlights of the film. And, besides, the character interaction in this story is just plain infectious. Cromwell, in particular, turns out to be an amiable presence, with a lighthearted performance containing much grace and humor — I liked Zefram Cochrane a lot. (I honestly don't remember the Cochrane character that appeared in TOS, but I don't care, either.)

I could fully understand why Cochrane would be overwhelmed learning that he's to be labeled a historic visionary. And I got a kick out of the whole bit with the statue that Geordi explains, and the idea that the savior of the future is merely a guy who wants to get drunk and make enough money to retire to an island of naked women. (For that matter, I was amused at the notion of Cochrane getting Deanna tipsy, agreeing to talk to her only after "three shots of something called tequila.")

In a key passage, Cochrane explains to Riker that his motives were hardly visionary — that he is not and does not want to be the "great man" that everyone in the future knows him to be. Riker has a response:

Riker: "Someone once said, don't be a great man, just be a man, and let history make its own judgments."
Cochrane: "That's rhetorical nonsense. Who said that?"
Riker: "You did, ten years from now."

It's dialog like this that defines the Star Trek universe. It's reassuring that at least some cinematic version of the future has imagination and hope for humanity and still has the prudence not to always take itself so seriously.

As much that takes place in First Contact (and as haphazardly as I've probably summarized it here), it's a credit to screenwriters Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore that they manage to tie everything into a sensible, efficient whole. They also manage to spread the material around all the main TNG characters — much better than in Generations. While obviously Picard, Data, and the guest characters get much of the material, given the size of the cast it's nice to see that everyone gets into the action one way or another.

And the plot's action provides some fresh and creative technical feats. The most impressive set-piece is a neat zero gravity situation on the hull of the ship, where Picard, Worf, and Lt. Hawk (Neal McDonough, who unfortunately is provided little purpose in the film except to be the token "dead meat" character) attempt to thwart the Borg's attempt to build a beacon on the deflector dish. The special effects are convincing, to say the least, and the entire episode is played out in a sort of slow-motion. In a word, this is clever.

There's also the aforementioned Dixon Hill holodeck scene that Picard and Sloane venture into to elude some Borg pursuers. The idea takes time out from the standard chase to nearly transform into a movie with a life of its own, complete with all the typical characters. (I particularly got a good laugh out of the "Nicky the Nose" gag — one of the most subtly amusing notions in the film.)

Naturally, there are the obligatory cameos — Robert Picardo as the EMH, Ethan Phillips as a holodeck character, and Dwight Schultz recapping his character Barclay at his most Barclayness — in the context of the film though, they fit, particularly the moment when Barclay so enthusiastically meets Cochrane, which underlines Cochrane's whole annoyance with being constantly identified as a historical figure.

Nearing the end, the film brings the three plot lines together, with the launch of Cochrane's warp rocket, the evacuation of the Enterprise (which Picard finally comes to terms with losing and puts on a countdown to auto-destruct), and the Queen's revelation to Picard that she has found an "equal" to her in Data, who she is convinced is completely under her control. She orders him to destroy Cochrane's warp ship with the Enterprise's torpedoes. The most cheer-worthy moment of the movie, at least for me, came when Data turned "Resistance is futile" around on the Queen, much to her horror and disbelief. In one line, Data shows his ability to keep his loyalty to humanity, surprising an arrogant creature and bringing the entire Borg collective down with her. Nice job — it had me cheering.

After the Queen's demise, I still had some questions that left me a tad perplexed, like, for instance, how exactly the Queen was on the Borg ship in "Best of Both Worlds" that was destroyed. Seeing her again causes memories to resurface in Picard — he remembers the Queen as the master behind his own attempted assimilation. The Queen's retort that his feeble human mind is too limited to understand was mysterious but unrevealing. Perhaps my primitive three-dimensional mind isn't supposed to understand it, either. Too bad; I would've appreciated understanding the Queen's history a little better. As a symbol of oneness she works great, but the specifics are a tad overly vague.

As compensation, the film allows us to witness first contact between the humans and the Vulcans. Without going too much into detail, I'll just say that the sequence is a poignant, effective payoff, and a great way to end the movie. I think it's the best scene in the entire film and one of the better moments in Trek's history, with a genuine sense of wonder and amazement and a real epic feel (and Jerry Goldsmith's theme is top-notch). It lays down some of the background of the Federation, which I've always wondered about, and it reveals that Star Trek cares not just where it's going, but also where it came from. As a Trekker so close to the series, I was moved. (Don't begin to ask me how a non-Trekker would react, though — I wouldn't know.)

First Contact is not really the action-packed "Borg movie" the trailers want to suggest. It's got action and adventure, sure. But it's really about assembling a sci-fi plot to entertain in thoughtful ways, using the resources and history of the seemingly-immortal concept of Trek itself. If this film is an indication of where the franchise intends to go, I'll gladly be aboard for the next ride.

Previous: Star Trek: Generations
Next: Star Trek: Insurrection

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123 comments on this review

Tue, Jan 22, 2008, 3:33am (UTC -5)
Awesome movie. One question though, if it is probably the best Trek movie why only 3.5 stars and not a 4 equal to STII-WOK?
Tue, Jan 22, 2008, 8:57am (UTC -5)
Simple: I said "probably." :) By the time I got around to reviewing ST2, I'd decided ST2 is indeed the best ST film. So, for the record, I do put ST2 above STFC (despite what I said here), so I stand by both star ratings.
Sat, Feb 16, 2008, 12:02pm (UTC -5)
This gets back to the shortfalls of a four star rating system. Jammer, would you consider re-reviewing you whole database of Trek reviews to better distinguish beteer the great and the good?
Sat, Feb 16, 2008, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
e.g 5 stars instead?
Sat, Feb 16, 2008, 3:06pm (UTC -5)
The rating system is what it is. It isn't perfect, but I'm okay with that. There's really no purpose in me going back to revise ratings en masse. It do what it do.

I've never believed in the 5-star system. It's 4.
Sat, Mar 22, 2008, 8:59am (UTC -5)
I agree with the consensus that this came the closest of the 4 TNG films to do TNG justice. However, what keeps it from attaining classic status in my book is the unnecessary addition of Lily's character(with respect to Alfre Woodard, who's a fine actress). It should've been Beverly who talked sense into Jean-Luc and convince him to destroy the Enterprise.
Mon, Jun 9, 2008, 10:59am (UTC -5)
If you look at the ten movies as part of the same series and continuum than I believe Wrath of Khan is the best film. However, if we're judging them on individual merit First Contact is the by far the best in my mind. Under another category of "Best Science Fiction" I think First Contact again is superior; its high concept villain, tight plot, and superb acting put it in a class by itself. But... it doesn't have Kirk's voice crack while giving Spock's eulogy.
Mon, Jul 14, 2008, 9:09am (UTC -5)
I agree that ST 2 is the best of the Trek Films. This certainly runs it close though.
Tue, Jul 22, 2008, 5:17am (UTC -5)
It's also interesting to note that the two best Trek Films actually had links to episodes from the series rather than being stand alone ideas.
Thu, Jul 31, 2008, 8:26pm (UTC -5)
Just watched this movie again for the second time. Wanted to like it, but maybe it wasn’t a good idea to watch it again after so many years.

Where the tv series finale for TNG was suspenseful, dramatic, surprising, and involving - by comparison, this movie felt contrived, unbelievable, sometimes out of character, and I’m sorry to say, was painful to watch at times.

Wrath of Khan holds up far far better, imo.
Tim Carroll
Fri, Aug 29, 2008, 9:29pm (UTC -5)
People often point to Voyager as the beginning of the end for the Borg as credible villains, but I've always felt it was this movie that turned the Borg from a genuinely menacing threat into something far less interesting. All Voyager did was run with the concept originally created here. Only problem was, it was never a good idea to begin with.

In fact, the Borg Queen was the Worst. Idea. Ever. The reason the Borg were so uniquely frightening to begin with was that there were *no* leaders of the Collective. It just existed, mindlessly carrying out its endless quest to reach perfection. They were the ultimate Trek Evil Computer(TM) villain.

The Borg Queen ruined all that. Suddenly, the Borg had an individual leader who made independent decisions and had emotions and all that jazz, and ALL that mystique went POOF and was never regained.

Voyager's "Scorpion" was the last time the Borg felt scary. It's also the last time we had a Borg Special (TM) without the fucking Queen. Coincidence? I think not...
Wed, Dec 31, 2008, 1:47pm (UTC -5)
Nice Review. I too thought this was right up there with Wrath of Khan. And yes, the Borg Queen kind of detracts from the whole soul-less, emotionless, hive mind concept, but I think it was a necessary vehicle to make them more accessible to the non-trek audience. Plus, I think that to come up with a creative, non-contrived, plot development to defeat them might have taken a lot more screen time and slowed the pace of the film.

My other comment has to do with the wonderful use of the final scene in First Contact as a starting point for the "Evil Earth Empire" in the "Mirror Universe" episode of ST: Enterprise. In my opinion, one of the handful of "keeper" episodes in that otherwise ill-conceived ST spinoff.
Thu, Mar 12, 2009, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
I completely agree with Tim Carroll.

The Borg Queen, decked out in her H.R. Geiger gear, is scary in a horror-movie sort of way. Like Jason or Freddy Kreuger. And her "seduction" of Data is intellectually intriguing.
Unfortunately, she ultimately neuters the Borg concept and makes them about a weird sort of bitch-goddess revenge, to come full-cycle on VOY.

The film is slickly produced, though. When the Enterprise swoops in to protect the Defiant I can't help but shed a manly tear. I can only imagine what some of the older films could look like with access to modern effects. I've harbored a dark fantasy where I get put in charge of re-mastering the Battle in the Mutara Nebula in Khan.
Sat, Apr 25, 2009, 10:50pm (UTC -5)
Agreeing with Time and EP. Along those same lines, they threw away much of the Star Trek canon regarding the Borg in this movie. Picard tells the fleet to fire on an unimportant part of the cube. One of the great mysteries of the Borg was that there were no identifiable parts of their ships. Everything was equal and redundant. The same with giving them adaptable shielding. In Best of Both Worlds, they found a solution to that problem. Now that solution is forgotten in order to make the Borg more dangerous.
Thu, May 7, 2009, 9:40pm (UTC -5)
I can't understand the motivation of Zefram Cochrane, in building a warp ship. It's evident that he has never been in space before, so why was there a need to build a warp ship if he had no destination in mind that required that speed? The only reason to have warp capability is to explore the outer reaches of his solar system, and perhaps the galaxy. Inventions and innovation is needed to solve a problem and there didn't seem to be any need of warp capability.
Nicolás Lichtmaier
Sun, May 10, 2009, 4:58pm (UTC -5)
Hehe, you reproduce what the characters assumed about the person that would create the warp engine. Of courssss, it must have been done by an altruistic man wanting to boldly go where no man has gone before. But instead, it was really created by a man who only expected profit. He wanted to get rich with his invention. But this is the same man what would eventually become wiser and more "altruistic". So what this character is really showing is how mankind is supposed to have gone from being assholes to XXIV century gentlemen =).

And this is part of why this movie is still much better than the new J.J. Abrams' Star Trek.
Thu, Jul 23, 2009, 1:52am (UTC -5)
I'm working my way back through all the Star Trek movies now that I've seen the new one (this is a great one, btw). But I found the commentary track by Moore and Braga particularly interesting.

Toward the end (with the hind-sight of 'Enterprise' and the latter 'Voyager' years informing their commentary): "All this continuity is a blessing and a curse." "Yeah, Star Trek's getting kind of too familiar and tired." "Yeah, maybe it needs a reboot." "Yeah, it probably does."

It's kind of shame Abrams didn't shop script-writing duties out of the pair of them, actually. Much as I enjoyed the new movie, script coherency wasn't it's strong point and these guys did a lion's share of the best writing in modern Trek. Moore's moved onto other things, granted, and Braga (whether you hate him or not, I think he gets blamed for a lot of things that weren't his fault) will probably not work on a Star Trek project again.

It's a shame they no longer write together, though. I think they brought out the best in each other and tempered each other's excesses.
John Pate
Sun, Dec 6, 2009, 4:19pm (UTC -5)
The Borg Queen issue isn't really, here's how. We posit the Borg Queen is the single attention point of the collective consciousness of the Borg - she is the ego of the Borg. Embodying herself in a particular place then, is purely situational. And if that particular body - which is really simply a waldo - gets destroyed, it doesn't destroy the Borg Queen because she is the Borg and you can't kill them all.
Wed, Jan 20, 2010, 10:49am (UTC -5)
Disagree completely with others about this film.
The great Borg film was the first part of Best of Both Worlds.
ST:First Contact pales by comparison.

And the reason ? Pacing, editing and drama.
Director Frakes and his editor have no idea.

Three things that destroy this movie.
1. Weightless scene in space. Slow, slow, slow. Both the movement and the plotline slow down to impulse power. It's a slowly editied and boring scene, it's not Trek, it lasts 'Forever !' it's not logical and it looks fake.
2. When Cochrane's warp rocket has taken off and is just about to go to warp, everything slooooows dowwwwn. Prepare for warp - look out the window - see the enterprise - torpedoes fired - torpedoes in the water - torpedoes still in the water - still in the water - torpedoes missing - Data defects...etc etc etc...THIS TAKES FOREVER.
Go to warp already !
Was George Lucas editing this film. It should have been quick and snappy action, not slow and treacly.
3. How long is the Vulcan First Contact scene.
It must take 10 minutes.
Slow motion landing. Slow motion walking. Slow motion First Contact.

This is not the great film everyone thinks it is.
Just like Michael Bay's Armegeddon, it travels at breakneck speed when it should breath and then slows down when it should be snappy.

2 1/2 out of 4
Thu, Jan 21, 2010, 9:34pm (UTC -5)
Saw this last night and agreed with my friends' comment: "This is better than all of the Star Wars prequels combined."

Was initially somewhat disappointed when I saw it theatrically but watching it now in context it really is a lovely, solid film.
Tue, Mar 9, 2010, 8:32am (UTC -5)
IMO, the best of the Next Generation movies -- and I'm not really a fan of the Next Generation. It was downhill from here.
Mon, Jun 14, 2010, 5:54pm (UTC -5)
How did the Phoenix land?
Fri, Jun 25, 2010, 12:56pm (UTC -5)
I do think this is a great film. But I agree this film is what started the “dumbing down of the Borg” (and Voyager just grabbed that baton and went with it). I mean, the Borg accept defeat rather easily. They send one ship to assimilate Earth and it gets destroyed (but not before wiping out a good percentage of Starfleet ships and personnel). You’d think they would have said, “You know…we almost got them that time. Let’s try again and send five or ten cubes. We’ll defeat them for sure then!”. Or the time travel idea. Which is brilliant and simple. Yet they never tried it again. Of course, just don’t do in full view of all of Starfleet where a ship can follow you backwards in time and you’ll be golden. And finally…The Borg have assimilated some 10,000 species, right? You’d think at least one of them would have had a cloaking device to make battle that much more efficient. =)
Luis Dias
Sun, Jul 4, 2010, 1:28pm (UTC -5)
How can you like this piece of crap of a movie?!?

Go see RedLetterMedia's review of it, he just blows it off like the shit it is. Good grief, I was about to take you guys seriously, but then 3 stars and a half to this monstruosity?!? You lost it.
Tue, Aug 17, 2010, 10:27pm (UTC -5)
RedLetterMedia's reviews would be better if the guy abandoned his dumb "crazy misogynist basement stalker character" and silly voice and just focused on actual critiques of the film. They add nothing in humor other than make the creator look like a sad, disturbed human being and make sitting a slog.
Jeff O'Connor
Thu, Oct 21, 2010, 1:32am (UTC -5)
RLM's an annoying, pretentious, pseudo-misogynistic hack. I've watched several of his reviews and I can't stand his stage persona. Annoying, trite and self-indulgent barely begin to describe his so-called theatrics.

As a preemptive measure, should he happen to swing by here and attempt to stun me with a response, it won't have any effect. This is the internet. It doesn't take much to type a few words.

Maybe he's a decent guy when he isn't doing his reviews, but too much of his points get neutered by his desire to run unfunny jokes longer than he spends actually analyzing things. At least, in the reviews I've checked out.

I'm aware of his stance on "First Contact", but I just rewatched it for the first time in a long time (Blu-Ray, baby; god, the film looked like it just came out yesterday!) and it's a fairly terrific movie. Some of the Borg Queen lines are over-the-top, some of the earlier scenes are a little too 'horror' for my tastes... but apart from these quibbles, it's a good film for non-Trekkies and a great one for the rest of us.

The pacing being problematic is a complaint I disagree with. Of course the space walk scene is slow. It's SPACE. And the official First Contact scene clocking in at ten minutes? Try closer to five, and it never felt like it dragged to me. AJH and I clearly just have far separate interpretations on... time.

The producers really brought their A-game to this compared to the other TNG films, and it's bittersweet knowing that "Insurrection" and "Nemesis" don't come close. I don't hate either one like some do, but they're not this good. Not by a long shot.

I'm not planning on doing reviews for the films, but I'd give this one a heartfelt ***1/2, too, Jammer.
Luis Dias
Wed, Dec 29, 2010, 5:24am (UTC -5)
Well, regarding RLM, I think it boils down to taste. And since our tastes differ so much regarding this movie, it doesn't surprise me that we also disagree on RLM. His persona is funny and is intentionally over the top. In his star wars reviews, he even gathers some women slaves, the lines are ridiculous.

About the movie, it is quite clear why it completely sucks.

First of all, the characters are all off base. Completely contradicting the personas they did on the series. The plot is full of holes, shenanigans and outright silliness. Why does the queen travel through time only after she arrives Earth and gets her cube destroyed? Silly strategy. Why her sudden obsession with data? Completely vacuous. Why should data approve the trade? Such a dumb idea: why not help the queen destroy entire mankind so that he can be all human by himself (and all alone)? It's not even a dillema, it's just stupid. Why is Riker always smiling like a jackass? Why is the crew behaving so much like teenager trekkies down earth, and not like actual crew members of starfleet?

But I simply disconnected in the first scenes. The Enterprise, actually built to kick borg's backside, is denied permission to help the fleet 'coz Picard "may have psych issues". Then he decides just to ignore federation (again?!) and gets there in less than 10 seconds. With that start I was like "Ok this is gonna be worse than generations". And then with fleet ships being destroyed in the front screen, somehow they have to save defiant's crew. I guess all the other crews will enjoy that (specially considering that the defiant wasn't destroyed at all!!), oh no they won't coz they got borged ;).

Just ridiculous. The holodeck scene was bad, suddenly we realise that Picard doesn't care about his ensigns being borg, he just shoots them, and it's like a bad Aliens' homage.

And why oh why did Data pretend to shoot in the end? Why not just jump towards the queen and kick her ass? The script is completely bogus and it shows.
Sat, Mar 12, 2011, 10:51pm (UTC -5)
Guess I'm a die-hard fan. I love to suspend disbelief and go along with the fantasy. The characters are the key. Data's dilemma and eventual deception of the admittedly illogically existent queen was unexpected and heroic. Picard's vengeance was long overdue. To answer why Lily was in the film, a crew member would have been insubordinate and relieved and/or demoted to argue further with Picard; Lily could challenge him, and she brought him back to do what he had to do. I have only one remaining question: Does this film END the Borg in the future? Does the destruction of the queen mean that it went back in time and was destroyed and all future Borg battles were "erased?" Insurrection and Nemesis ignore the Borg - ???
Sat, Apr 23, 2011, 2:25pm (UTC -5)
I see this time you've been blinded by popular opinion Jammer. Allow to carefully explain exactly why this film is awful and point out yet more holes your FAILED to mention.
8) THE BORG QUEEN WAS SO, SO, SO STUPID!!!!!!!!!! I don't really want to go into full details about it, BUT SHE WAS NOT A BORG AND RUINED THE BORG ALTOGETHER!!!!!!!!!! "You think in such three dimensional terms" WHAT DOES THAT MEAN!!!!!!!! AND THE DIALOGUE WAS DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!! IMAGINE LOCUTUS DELIVERING LINES LIKE THAT!!!!!!!!
I have no idea why you or anyone like it as much as you do. Whatever.
Sun, Sep 11, 2011, 2:42pm (UTC -5)
Watched this film again recently, have to say its the last great outing for the TNG crew. Still makes me want to see the old tv show again. Maybe Ill do just that...
Mon, Dec 5, 2011, 3:03am (UTC -5)
Watched this movie yesterday for the first time in about a decade, and felt the ''first contact'' side of the plot with Cochrane held up a lot better than the fight against the Borg did. Can't help thinking that's a major flaw, considering the Borg plot was the one which involved Picard and Data, probably the TNG crew's two most interesting and likeable characters.

Also agree with those who said this was where the ruination of the Borg began - in fact, I find it more annoying here than in Voyager, because Seven of Nine produced some good TV stories while the Queen never did.

All in all, I felt a lot less satisfied by this movie than I do after watching many TNG television episodes which are less than half its length. That said, it's not terrible and it's always nice to see this crew in any setting.
Wed, Feb 8, 2012, 3:28am (UTC -5)
I hate, hate, hated this movie. Picard is turned into a jackass instead of the calm, collected captain we know and love, and all of the other characters act weird as well. It makes me wonder if the writers have seen even one episode of TNG. Not to mention the plot is a complete abortion and full of holes. Interesting how Jammer goes out of his way to point out the plot contrivances of Star Trek VI (which is a far better film) and yet glosses over the nonsensical garbage in the First Contact screenplay. Oh, and did I mention this is the movie that ruined the Borg forever?
Mon, Mar 26, 2012, 2:05pm (UTC -5)
@Jammer, the Borg queen is not a single individual. As she said, "I am the collective." Which means her consciousness exists everywhere the Borg do. When needed, the Queen becomes corporeal and interactive. That's why she showed up again, and again, and again in Voyager. In the Voyager finale the role was reprised by Alice Krige.

Now, I wouldn't be a real Trek fan without having a few minor nits to pick. I did think it was unnecessary to have Picard have to speed to Earth's rescue. And it did seem like it only took him 5 minutes to get there. Weren't they patrolling the Romulan neutral zone?

The other nagging question is why does the Borg sphere bombard Cochrane's compound with what seemed like nothing more than ineffectual disruptor blasts. This is The Borg we're talking about. Shouldn't they be able to just vaporize the whole area? Or use their laser cutter to scoop it up? That would have been more plausible and a more natural thing for Enterprise to be able to stop from happening.

Other than that, I agree. It's the best TNG movie and the 2nd best Trek movie overall. And I loved the Alfre Woodard character. Alice Krige was also terrific as the queen.
Thu, Apr 19, 2012, 3:21pm (UTC -5)
This was one of my favorite Star Trek movies and is what, perhaps, did the most to turn me into a Star Trek spinoff fan even though I had been casually watching the series- in various incarnations for years. Instead of meandering around a lot- like in Generations- this was thrilling and suspenseful story that reminded me of what I liked so much about movies like Aliens and other horror films. For some reason, BOBW and other TNG episodes (except maybe the first one-Q-Who?) never really made me fear the Borg. Yes, they were powerful and threatening to the Federation and, yes, they ravaged an entire Federation fleet and captured Captain Picard and turned him into one of them but here they exhbit a truly menacing presence, establishing a foothold on the Enterprise itself and mercilessly picking off Enterprise crew members one at a time and turning them into Borg drones, almost like a good zombie movie. The sight of seeing a crew member lying on the ground turning grey as he is assimilated by the nanoprobes injected into him is creepy but what is even more creepy is Picard dispassionately phasering him to death, in accordance with his previous chilling directive to fire on former Enterprise crew members assimilated by the Borg. The movie's study of how Picard's previous experiences with the Borg and how others around him viewed his actions and judgement regarding the Borg was the most compelling part of the movie, an interesting contrast with the character of Khan in TWOK. Here, our "hero" is the one with "revenge issues". Thankfully, unlike Khan, Picard had a more supportive crew and other people around whom were willing to confront him about his recklessness and ultimately saved him (and, likely humanity), from himself. The one thing that I found slightly odd about Picard's intense reaction towards the Borg is that this isn't the first time since BOBW that Picard was faced with the Borg. After all, the Enterprise did encounter the Borg in two different episodes during the TV series (I, Borg & Descent) and he did not exhibit quite the same level of intensity towards them that he did towards the Borg in this particular situations. Plus, he did have some emotional release in "Family", which immediately followed BOBW. However, this is only a minor point. Picard's relentless vendetta against the Borg made for some really memorable scenes towards the end and it was great seeing Picard get really angry and fiery for once. Data's back-and-forth dialog with the Borg Queen was really fascinating as well and I was definitely not the only one in the theater who cheered loudly when he turned the tables on the Borg Queen, who thought that she had Data under her thumb, and not only prevented Cochrane's warp ship from being destroyed by deliberately missing it but took out the Queen and the rest of the Borg collective by venting the plasma core. Awesome scene. It was also nice to see other supporting cast members on Earth playing a significant role in helping ensure that the warp flight goes as planned. The fact that Vulcans turned out to be the first ETs to make contact with Earth seemed......well...fitting, given their prominent role in the UFP. Excellent movie all around.

Note: I've often thought it would've been neat to have somehow managed to bring Sisko into the story to compare and contrast their reaction to the Borg, given that both of them were intimately affected by the Borg's invasion of the Federation and the battle of Wolf 359. It probably would've ended up being too much storyline to handle but it would've made for an interesting crossover.
Sun, Apr 22, 2012, 6:50pm (UTC -5)
This movie introduced the ridiculous concept of a Borg Queen, which runs counter to everything we've learned about the Borg so far. Worse of all is that they tried to retcon her into the events of the tour de force BOBW, having Picard, upon seeing her suddenly "remember her" from that experience, when she was nowhere to be seen. Inexcusable.

Voyager is accused of ruining the Borg, but this one film did more damage than the entire 7 year run of Voyager could ever have dreamed.
Latex Zebra
Thu, Apr 26, 2012, 3:46pm (UTC -5)
I think Picard's meltdown certainly shows the leanings of DS9 and Ronald D. Moore's influence on Trek.

I still go back to this from time to time and always enjoy it. This isn't just a great Trek film it's a great film full stop.
Wed, Jun 27, 2012, 6:21pm (UTC -5)
RedLetterMedia has a habit of taking every possibly plot nitpick and translating it as "the entire plot doesn't make sense". Yeah, the whole "Borg go to Earth and THEN time travel" thing, and Picard's flawed portrayal as inconsistent with his TNG persona, are valid criticisms. But other than that, RLM focuses on little except other minor nitpicks and ignores the fact that, within its slightly flawed premise, it's a very well-made, exciting, and intelligent movie.

RLM's obsession on plot inconsistencies works great when he's dissecting the Star Wars prequels, but not here. It also made him a complete hypocrite when he gave a pass to XI and the forced, nonsensical hernia that was THAT movie's script, so take RLM with a grain of salt. He's pretty biased against the TNG movies as a whole, because he saw the TNG films as a misplaced studio attempt to merely turn a smart franchise into dumb action movies.
Fri, Aug 24, 2012, 10:31am (UTC -5)
Listen to the Brannon Braga / Ronald D. Moore commentary on the DVD/Blu-Ray, if you get the chance. It's by far the best audio commentary in any of the 11 Star Trek films.

They really delve into the origins of the story, and don't shy away from criticizing a scene or two either.

But the best moment in this commentary is during the movie's final act. Brannon and Ron really try and dissect the reason people started nitpicking Trek almost to a fault.

They both agree that what killed Trek and Enterprise was pretty much familiarity, which led to franchise fatigue. It became intimidating to continue writing new stories, without running into the pitfalls of contradiction, due to the sheer complexities of the Trek universe, as well as fan expectations.

This commentary was recording around 2004/2005. Brannon was running Enterprise, and Ron was running BSG. And even then, Brannon said it out loud that it was time for the franchise to take an "electrical jolt in order to start fresh" - his words.

In a way, he pretty much predicted what would happen in a just a few years, with the JJ Abrams 'reboot'.
Mon, Oct 22, 2012, 8:28pm (UTC -5)
There's some cool continuity in this movie that really tickles me:

Cmdr Riker refers to The Defiant as a "tough, little ship" (to Worf's chagrin). Thomas Riker called it the same thing in the DS9 episode, "Defiant" a year earlier.

In the TNG episode, "New Ground", Geordi rhapsodizes how amazing it would have been to be there when Zefram Chochrane using the first warp drive. In this movie, he got his wish!
Sun, Nov 11, 2012, 1:13am (UTC -5)
A lot of comments about the ruination of the Borg. I would posit that this ruination is from a seed that was planted earlier. Sadly, I believe the downfall of the Borg began in BOBW pt.2. No one should be able to come back from assimilation. This, "redemption" was a crack in the otherwise pristine armor of the Borg as relentless villains. Now they could be "saved." Then we meet Hugh and we humanize the Borg. After that Lore brainwashes them and now they're just misguided. You can't honestly say this movie is the "start" of the downfall of the Borg. This movie is more, the seed after carefull watering, finally coming to full flower.

I do love this movie though. The soundtrack especially is a favorite.

One thing always bothered me though. We see the effectiveness of Worf's blade. Why can't anyone say, "Computer. Blade, katana, 2 million folds." Boom that's it. Borg move like they're in water - just get a bladed weapon and hack them to bits
Tue, Dec 25, 2012, 11:34am (UTC -5)
It was incredibly out of character for Data to break the plasma tube in the climactic battle with the Queen without Picard being first secure from the danger of it...
Tue, Apr 16, 2013, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
It's amazing how much the two UPN Trek series gleaned from this movie. From the fourth season on, it was "Borg, Borg, Borg, and more Borg" from Star Trek: Voyager (in fact they'll use the term "first contact" constantly). And hell, Star Trek: Enterprise was pretty much created from this movie with the introduction of the Vulcans in ST:FC. The only real influence on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was a mention "In Purgatory's Shadow" and the new, grey uniforms.

And for people wondering why the Borg were interested in Data; remember: he was considered "a primitive artificial organism" but help defeat them in "BOBW pt II".
Frank Wallace
Tue, Jul 9, 2013, 9:41pm (UTC -5)
I could NEVER grasp the fondness for this movie. People always said "it's the good TNG movie". They are all equally bad to me, but for different reasons. RedLetterMedia's review of this DOES explain quite a lot that I agree with. It's not just the minor nitpicks like the stupid pointless window room, or the Defiant not having her actual captain, or this anti Borg ship getting its ass handed to it by the Borg, only to surely be destroyed by the explosion or stuff like that.

Picard already dealt with his Borg issues in the show. Quite definitively. Data already dealt with temptation of more human like qualities previously. Picard is MASSIVELY out of character this whole film, and he's not the only one. Worf was willing to ram the Defiant into the cube, and die in battle like a Klingon, but later WON'T die on the Enterprise? Time travel plots are stupid for so many reasons. They always open the colossal door to "why didn't they do that before?" type questions.

I can't watch this movie and pretend not to be a Star Trek fan. I re-watched it a couple of weeks back on Film Four. The whole opening segment is contrived retconning nonsense to create false tension and conflict. You basically have to switch off the Trek part of your brain to just sit back and enjoy a reasonably well put together action adventure in space. The fight sequence was nice to see, but there are too many little holes in the film that annoy me and make me cringe, and too many big holes in the plot and characters to just forget 7 years of TNG. And we know now in retrospect how studio influence led to the Borg Queen, taking the first step towards ruining this uniquely interesting Trek villain species.

No, sorry, as a Star Trek story, with these characters, they've had to basically gut the whole meat and bones from TNG to make this work, and I find it hard to watch. It's only better than the other 3 because it's not boring.
Jeffrey Bedard
Fri, Jul 12, 2013, 6:42pm (UTC -5)
I do think that FIRST CONTACT is the best of the 4 TNG films.

One question that stays with me about the Borg in general (although it pertains to this film as well): If the Borg adapt to situations, why is it that at each individual encounter the Borg wait 'til the humans are a threat before assimilating them? After "Q Who" you would think that each and every time the Borg encountered humans (Federation or not) they would start assimilating immediately? Obvously, that would ruin the stories, but you would think that would be more of the case and also make the Borg more terrifying. They're wouldn't be giving us any chances anymore! :)
Thu, Sep 12, 2013, 7:38pm (UTC -5)
Having the Vulcans as humanity's first contact was an inspired move.
Sun, Sep 15, 2013, 10:55am (UTC -5)
I enjoyed this movie immensely. IMO this is the best of the TNG movies.

But to me, it also raises questions. Did the Enterprise crew not affect/change history by assisting in the first warp flight? Sure, they merely helped achieve what happened in their past and what was *supposed* to happen but I find it hard to swallow that such a major interference in a historic event would remain without consequences.
Fri, Nov 29, 2013, 4:37am (UTC -5)
I love this film, especially the scene between Picard and Lilly in the ready room.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt your little quest! Captain Ahab had to go hunt his whale!"

Patrick Stewart is an incredible actor.
Fri, Jan 10, 2014, 3:15pm (UTC -5)
"Don't begin to ask me how a non-Trekker would react, though — I wouldn't know."

It was in very late 2000 that my best friend decided that I needed to get into Trek. I had no use for sci-fi at the time.

I let her give me a crash course in the various Trek series and characters, but wasn't convinced. She knew I liked western and pioneering stories and thought that a first contact story might pique my interest.

So the very first Trek I saw was this movie, which she assured me was a really good sci-fi movie that even a non-Trekker/Trekkie could appreciate.

I knew nothing about the characters, the Borg, and remember being incredibly confused by the holodeck sequence, but I was completely entranced.

Then we got to Lily and Picard's final exchange:

"I envy you, the world you're going to."
"And I envy you, taking these first steps into a new frontier."

I could have been me conversing with Picard. I was hooked, on both Trek and sci-fi.

I started with TOS, which I fell in love with almost immediately, tried a few eps of TNG and had no use for it (still don't), and then fell madly in love with DS9. I eventually moved on to Firefly, Farscape, BSG, Stargate, Babylon 5, etc.

I am convinced that I would not be a fan of Trek or of any other sci-fi show or movie had someone who knew me too well not ordered me to sit down and watch this movie.
Sun, Apr 20, 2014, 10:06am (UTC -5)
Firstly, I have to respond to that Mister-Caps-Is-Cruise-Control-For-Cool, because no. Just no.

1) The story is most definitely big enough, and the characters defined enough for the purpose. What could possibly be bigger than wiping out the whole of mankind before we could achieve the greatness that had been explored in every incarnation of Trek up to this movie.

2) To underscore Picard's intimate in-tuneness (I couldn't think of the right way to word it, so it's staying) to the Collective after what they did to him. People have dreams within dreams more than they realise, and that Picard is having such an experience about the Borg only highlights his anxiety about encountering them again.

3) Because of the time travel aspect. Now, granted, that's something that's annoyed me about the Borg in First Contact as well. If they had the ability to travel back in time to assimilate mankind in the past, then why not do so when there is no Enterprise around to stop them? You might argue that the Temporal Agency in the 29th-ish century would stop them, but if the Collective was able to distract them sufficiently with other events simultaneously, they could pull it off and see to it that there WAS no Temporal Agency.

4) Because that's the way bureaucracy works. Those in charge give orders regardless of whether or not they make sense. The Admiral assumed that Picard might crack, since he hasn't actually had a full-on encounter with the Collective since his assimilation. Command had no prior experience to think he would be an asset in the battle, and they made a judgement call.

5) It's assumed that all Trek fans MIGHT have watched enough DS9 up until this point to grasp it, and for those that didn't ... keep in mind they never televised or even showed us Sulu's promotion to Captain and assignment to the Excelsior prior to actually seeing him in command. It's been a couple of years since the Big-D went down, so it's assumed that SOME officers received transfers rather than wait around in limbo.

6) We don't know what many things are before they come into it. New people to the franchise will patiently wait for it to be explained, and it soon was. Trekkies know about First Contact since TOS days. It has been mentioned in the franchise, though not detailed, multiple times.

7) Skipping this point because you're only one-third right.

8) The Borg Queen was, conceivably, essential to the concept of the Collective. All the times the Borg have been in Trek, they've been described as having a HIVE MIND. Now anyone that knows anything will know that no Hive can function without a Queen, or some other individual driving that collective. It makes sense that the Borg would have a personification of that aspect of the Collective as well. When she talks about humans thinking in such three-dimensional terms, it's VERY CLEAR that she's pointing out that the Borg are capable of much more than we are. New Queens could be created as needed, with the consciousness downloaded into the new body from encrypted backup files within the Collective. That's just one example. Keep in mind that after her death in this movie, she was again seen multiple times in Voyager.

9) The emotion chip did far less than you claim. It hardly ruined the character. It gave him a quirky side when he was trying to work out its mechanisms, and made him slightly more in tune with his human/oid friends amongst the crew. Soong created the chip exactly for that reason.

10) Again, going to skip this point, because it's wrong and not worthy of rebuttal.

11) No one was going to buy the Pheonix itself. But that level of tech on a ravaged world would have been like gold during the rush. Every major power still licking its wounds from WW3 would have been after it. Why stay around on a planet with a bunch of people you hate when you can just warp to another and start over? How do we do that sir? Well, this guy in Montana has a ship. With this engine, see? We buy it. Why not steal it sir? Because we're the good guys, y'see? oooor Because he might sabotage it just to spite us. He states quite clearly that his only motivation towards building the Pheonix was to be rich. Wether or not that changed, or he put on the face of that having changed, after the flight, is left to viewer discretion.

12) Not when she's trying to get the information she wants. Would you prefer the hold a phaser to his face and hope the question he asks isn't "What the hell is that and where did you get it from darlin'?" approach?

13) Lily provides counterpoint to Picard. With his rampaging all over the ship killing anything that moves and mutilating Borg to steal their guts (obviously I'm exaggerating), the only other person in the crew that stood up to him was Worf. Did that work? No. Picard slapped him in the face verbally by calling him a Coward. It wasn't until someone from the 21st century compared him to a 19th century novel character and made him see that what he was doing wasn't justice, it was revenge. Still think she did nothing? Would you have rathered not have her there and have let the story line continue with everyone in the crew continuing to be systematically assimilated until the Borg completely controlled the Enterprise? No one else put Picard in his place and made him listen to his officers the way she did.

14) You claim that the scene is out of character, but it isn't really. From your comments, your comments I can assume that you prefer the series over the movies. But in the series, Picard was VIOLATED by the Borg. Statistically, more than 60% of humans who are wronged want vengeance. Picard showed some hints of this in I, Borg when he actually considered using an INDIVIDUAL drone against the Collective. He shows this again in a monumental scale after further years of the Borg hindering the Federation, and now seeking to take over his ship.

15) Refer to my earlier point of how the Queen could have survived. Prior to the distruction of that cube, she could have transported out. That cube could have rendezvoused with another ship en-route to Earth to offload the Queen. The Collective could have made another and had her consciousness downloaded from the Hive Mind. The possibilities are staggering. Remember that they have access to technology the Federation doesn't, and so it is believable that the Queen WAS on board the cube that Picard was assimilated by.

Onto Jammer:

I loved this movie. Of all time, it's my second favourite Trek film, and that was a tough call. Wrath of Khan will always be my favourite, because Ricardo Montalban was the villain in the very first Trek episode I EVER watched, and to see him return bent on revenge with a stolen Starfleet vessel just gave me chills. I still hum the music from the scene where the two ships approach each other in open space sometimes at random. And then that gives me the urge to watch the movie. Plenty of episodes of TNG-era Trek had the potential to show similar scenes of Starfleet-v-Starfleet battles, but those that did push that button (Defiant v Lakota, DS9; Ent-D v Pheonix, TNG, Voyager v Equinox, VOY) didn't quite match the thrill factor I experienced when the Reliant opened up on the Enterprise, or when Kirk responded in kind.

That said, I'm an EPIC sucker for space battles in any science fiction. And this rates as one of the best (included in my list are the fight from Star Trek X, Star Wars III, the season 9 finale of Stargate SG:1, and the series finale of Stargate: Atlantis). So to see the fleet fighting the Borg practically at the onset of the film was something that I enjoyed more than I can presently think to word.
Mon, Dec 22, 2014, 8:46am (UTC -5)
Just watched this again yesterday on blu-ray and a few things stick out:

First, if the Borg could travel back in time to assimilate Earth, why didn't they just do that in the first place rather than attack the planet with a cube and have to fight off the Federation fleet? (And why did they once again only send *one* cube to attack Earth?)

Lily was all well and good but her inclusion took valuable screen time away from the cast. Sure, she gives us a point of view character who can comment on the differences the 24th century represents, but I think giving Doctor Crusher a meaty character moment was a much more important consideration. Crusher should have been the one who talked Picard down at the end, not Lily. It would have given the relationship between Crusher and Picard a nice jolt and it would have given Gates Mcfadden something to do. She's the Chief medical Officer after all and she has every right to relieve the captain of duty if his behavior is endangering the ship. More to the point, she's the one member of the crew who, by virtue of their relationship, could believably engage in a shouting match with Picard. Moore and Braga dropped the ball on this.

I liked Crusher's impatient and condescending tone toward the EMH. I never subscribed to the idea that the EMH on Voyager could have become sentient, so this scene was a breath of fresh air for me. Data is a person, and his creation was a remarkable event; the EMH is a holographic tool that happened to be used a lot on Voyager. Just because you play a hologram over and over again, that doesn't make it alive.

The Borg Queen--she sort of made sense in that she was analagous to a queen bee, I thought the idea of her vamping around trying to seduce Data came off a bit silly. And did she really need to be wearing lipstick?

Best scene: Troi drunk.
Tue, Jan 13, 2015, 12:08am (UTC -5)
Watch the scene in BoBW where The Collective addresses Picard:

"You speak for your people."
"I have nothing to say to you. And I will resist you with my last ounce of strength."
"Strength is irrelevant, resistance is futile. We wish to improve ourselves....."

That scene still sends chills up my spine. The Borg are so completely alien in BoBW; you can't reason with them, you can't destroy them, they are a simple force of nature all the emotion of a spider devouring its prey, e.g., NONE.

Then came First Contact and a retconned Queen as a personification of The Collective. Alright, I can get behind the Queen, that's what Locutus' character was there for after all. Except of course she has to take things personally, get angry, and have a human desire for revenge. WTF? Remember how Locutus dismissed his "abduction" in BoBW, without a hint of emotion or concern? That's how the personification of The Collective behaves!

The Borg in BoBW and Scorpion (I can't believe I'm citing Voyager as an example of doing it right!) were genuinely frightening. After that they were just the Bad Guys of The Week.

And +1 for whoever mentioned RedLetterMedia. The part of his review called "A Tale of Two Picards" nails it. Completely out of character. FC is 90% dumbed down action movie and 10% Trek. The 10% was the final scene with the Vulcans landing, Lily, Picard, and Cochrane. That was Trek; too bad the payoff wasn't worth the pain of the rest of the movie.

In my mind TNG will always have ended with "All Good Things..."
Latex Zebra
Wed, Jan 28, 2015, 10:28am (UTC -5)
Assuming that when they return to the future, any descendants of the people killed in Montana during the Borg opening attack just vanish from existence.

Lets hope none of them did anything important like cure Talamarian Flu, campaign for equal rights for tribbles or invent the replicator or some shit like that.

That would be bad.
Thu, Jan 29, 2015, 10:31pm (UTC -5)
I really love First Contact. It's a superb balance of action, character driven drama and classic Trekkian philosophy. It's really got the whole lot, and the pacing of the seperate stories is brilliant. I think structurally it's one of the best made sci-fi action movies ever, Star Trek or no. The beginning is a masterclass on how to start a movie. Set up the story, briefly set up the characters, set up Picard's past relationship with the Borg and how he has issues there and then BOOM, within 10 minutes you've learnt something about the whole situation and you're in the middle of a giant battle. No bullshit; no screwing around but also nothing skipped over... just stripped down to the essentials without time wasting. I agree with Jammer... Quote:

"It's reassuring that at least some cinematic version of the future has imagination and hope for humanity and still has the prudence not to always take itself so seriously."

That's it... There's something in the soul of this film that really understands what underlies and defines Star Trek. You CAN have this AND do a great action movie at the same time! *shakes fist at Abrams* grr! =)
Rae's Boss
Thu, Feb 12, 2015, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
@Rae: Didn't watch TNG? Inexcusable.
Thu, May 14, 2015, 2:19pm (UTC -5)
Easily my favorite TNG movie, and probably my 3rd or 4th favorite overall. The other TNG movies can't hold a candle to this one. It's just such a perfect balance of action, sci-fi, and uplifting Trek philosophy. And it actually works very well as a standalone movie - you can watch and enjoy this without having seen a single episode of TNG. It's a fairly good jumping off point for new fans in that regard.

The only minus point in this one I think is the Borg Queen. Don't get me wrong, in the movie she's used well, but her long-term utilization in future Trek productions (looking at you Voyager) did a lot to water down the Borg. In essence - short-term awesomeness, long-term drag. This movie was, IMO, the only time the Borg Queen was used properly. (I read once that had Enterprise been extended for a 5th season, one episode would have explored the origins of the Borg Queen. Not sure if that would have been a good idea or not since we never saw it on screen.) I don't blame the writers; from a dramatic standpoint a central villain figure was probably necessary for a good payoff and it would have been hard to write a final confrontation scene facing off against the entire faceless Borg collective. I guess we'll never know.

Also of note that this movie probably did a lot to extend the shelf life of Trek for several more years. Much like how Wrath of Khan eventually led to the creation of TNG, this movie did a lot to set up the backstory for Enterprise (whether or not that is a good thing is entirely your own opinion), although strictly speaking the closest we got to a direct followup/sequel was ENT's "Regeneration".

Also, I have to say, love, LOVE the new phaser rifle design that debuts in this movie. And the Enterprise-E is probably my favorite starship design overall. Pity we only saw it in three movies.
Fri, Jul 3, 2015, 6:42pm (UTC -5)
I know people complain a lot about nitpicks. Personally, they usually don't bother me. If you want to, you can nitpick any great movie. So the command codes for Federation starships is a simple 5 digit code? Scotty takes Preston's body up to the bridge instead of immediately to sickbay? Spock gives the most blatantly obvious code in existence? So what? Wrath of Khan is still a great movie even with these silly parts. And First Contact is still a great movie despite its silliness too.

But the complaint I really don't like is that this is nothing more than actiony fluff. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Now, I'm probably going a bit far with this, but I think there's a lot of parallels between the A and B plots (and a bit of the C plot as well). I mean, not the Zombies in Space part of the A plot, but the Picard part. Look at how the crew idolized Cochrane, particularly LaForge and Barclay. His flight, his character, and his subsequent first contact with aliens was so built up in the minds of the Starfleet crew that it's hard for them to imagine that their hero was a drunk and a lecher who couldn't care less about the rest of humanity. It was a case of the fallen idol.

Now look at the A plot. To the Starfleet crew, Cochrane represented the best of humanity. But to Trek fans, it is Picard who represents the best of humanity. While people can argue the Kirk vs Picard (vs Sisko) for all eternity, it's clear that Picard is the ideal of Roddenberry's "evolved" human. He is the thoughtful, calm, rational renaissance man, and can always be turned to in order to give the Picard speech about the greatness of humanity. He is the living embodiment of enlightenment. And in this movie, we see him fail. Hard. Like Cochrane to the Starfleet crew, he is the fallen idol of Trek's optimism.

"Don't try to be a great man. Just be a man, and let history take its course."

Yet, Cochrane didn't fail. Yes, he ran. And he got zapped for his cowardice. While it seemed to be that he was forced into it, he really wasn't. In the cockpit, he smiled and said he was ready to make history. Sure, he chickened out for awhile, but he still was willing to go through it with. He may not have been the idol that Starfleet thought he was, but he still did the right thing.

This is most notable in the actual First Contact scene. The Vulcans landed, and everyone just stares at them. Riker eventually reminds Cochrane that he's kinda the reason the aliens are here. And so what does he do? He steps forward. Remember, this is a guy who's initial plan was to retire to a tropical island filled with naked ladies. This was a guy who's idea of a good time is getting plastered. This was a guy who had pretty much zero cares about the rest of humanity. And he knew that this was an extraordinarily important moment in the history of humanity. So he knew that he, of all people, was going to end up being the ambassador of humanity.

And what does he do? He walks forward. He accepts his role as the ambassador, and does the best he can. When the most important moment of his life appeared, he made the right choice. Zeframe Cochrane may not have been the visionary that future engineers thought him to be. But whatever else he was, he was still a good man, and still managed to usher in a new era for humanity. His quote Riker threw back at him fits him perfectly. He ended up doing the right thing and being vindicated and downright revered for it.

(BTW, one nice bit of direction here: we all know Jonathan Frakes is a tall guy. Yet when he talks to Cochrane in this scene, James Cromwell looks about 8 inches taller. Riker is literally looking up to Cochrane at the moment that Cochrane becomes the hero of history.)

So let's go back to Picard. His story is the same thing. Sure, we saw for seven years that he was a great man, and for the most part he lived up to that ideal. But Roddenberry's vision of mankind in the future wasn't "for the most part", it was perfection. Picard's statement here that mankind had evolved beyond such base desires is exactly what Roddenberry wanted. And Lily's response is perfectly in line with ours: "Bull---."

Picard doesn't just falter here, he falls dramatically. We see him at his worst, giving irrational orders that could get people killed (or worse), succumbing to anger, insulting some of his closest friends, and seeking bloodlust. Is it a bit much compared to what we are used to from Picard? Perhaps, but we're used to seeing him at his best, seeing him up on a pedestal. Because of that, this episode needed to knock him off the pedestal as much as possible. It was easy to do with Cochrane, since this was the first we saw him (yes, yes, TOS, close enough...). So it had to be as unsubtle as what we saw, because it needed to be shocking to see his other side. The whole "tale of two Picards" is deliberate!

But like Cochrane, his dark side needed to be temporary. Like Cochrane, all it took was one kick in the pants for him to do what was right and to get right back on the pedestal again. Sure, for Picard, it's not a history-defining moment, but it doesn't need to be. We are already used to seeing him as the great hero, so its enough to see him return to the calm rational captain we all know. The route was a bit different, but the arc was the same as Cochrane: idealized character gets seen at his worst, yet still comes through in the end.

(One could take this further and add Data as a parallel: the incorruptible member of the crew getting tempted by the Borg, but ultimately sacrificing his dream to do what was right. But that might be pushing it a bit.)

So why is this interpretation so important? Again, it all goes back to Roddenberry's utopia. By doing it like this, this film is essentially a deconstruction/reconstruction of that utopia. The writers, quite clearly, do not agree with Roddenberry's view that mankind will become perfect in this new technocratic society. By putting both the Roddenberry ideal character and the in-universe savior of humanity as imperfect, emotional fools, we are shown as plainly as possible that humanity still has its faults.

Yet, most importantly, we see this without removing the fundamental aspect of Roddenberry's vision, that of optimism for the future. This isn't In The Pale Moonlight, where Sisko sacrifices his principles to gain an ally in a war. This isn't dark and grim and pessimistic in the slightest. In universe, Cochrane is still a hero in the eyes of the Starfleet officers despite knowing his flaws, and he still steps forward and accepts his place in history. And to us, despite seeing the anger and fear in Picard, he is still the moral center of the Trek Universe.

And most importantly, this is actually a BETTER vision of the future than Roddenberry's silly utopia. Roddenberry is saying that you are a pathetic, fallen, dark individual, unable to reach an enlightened state, but perhaps someday your children's children's children will become perfect. Moore and Braga are saying that you already have this potential, that you are potentially great, and that the great society of the future is in your reach if you and everyone else would work towards this goal. Which is a better vision? Which stirs your soul more?

If I may quote Ronald Reagan for a moment (please, no politics about the source of the quote): "I've seen what men can do for each other and do to each other, I've seen war and peace, feast and famine, depression and prosperity, sickness and health. I've seen the depth of suffering and the peaks of triumph and I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph and that there is purpose and worth to each and every life."

That is the message of First Contact. And that is a beautiful, stirring, uplifting message. It is a far better message than Roddenberry's, and so this movie, which ended up essentially being the swan song of the TNG (lets face facts, nobody cares much for Insurrection or Nemesis), serves to reboot and improve on Roddenberry's message. TNG is the show that focused so much on the philosophical, so much on fleshing out the optimistic future that Trek stands for. So it is fitting that we have the final statement on that message. Not subvert it, not try to tear it down, not show the dark side of it, but to clarify and perfect the message.

And it is even more fitting that that message culminates in the focal point of Trek history, the moment of First Contact itself. Such a beautiful scene.

I love Wrath of Khan, but this movie defines Trek for me.
William B
Sat, Jul 4, 2015, 11:52am (UTC -5)
@Skeptical, I really agree with what you've written. I had started writing something on the movie after rewatching it but began to find the whole thing daunting. On a minor point, I actually don't think it's pushing it at all to include the Data plotline here; Data's corruptibility, after all, is tied *directly* to his search for humanity, and the threat of corruption is specifically geared to his difficulty dealing with human emotions and his desire for human flesh.

The other intriguing parallel, which I think deserves a lot more elaboration than I'm going to give here, is that the title "First Contact" also refers to both/all three plots. The Borg go back to stop humans' first contact with other life forms, which represents the opportunity for humans to expand. But the other big motivation for the Borg, as personified by the Borg Queen, turns out to be the desire for "a counterpart," to "bridge the gap" between humanity and the Borg; the Borg wanted Picard as a counterpart, and then (seem to) find one in Data. The Borg were, and are, seeking their own "first contact." When Picard wanders into the lion's den to find Data, he's dealing with his own unfinished business, which comes down to his own repressed memories of his contact (which the Borg Queen sexualizes as sexual contact) with the Borg; Picard's anger, it seems to me, stems from misplaced guilt which remains in him about what he was made to do as part of the Collective, as well as the fact that he is unable to deal with the brief moment where he and the Borg became one, and he lost himself in that contact.

This all partly works because the Borg is, among other things, an extremely dark mirror of the Federation, where the Borg's desire for exploration and harmony manifests in a desire for total domination, where "work[ing] to better ourselves and the rest of humanity" manifests as a drive to co-opt or destroy anything "imperfect," etc. And it seems to me that the Borg's interest in humanity, and Picard in particular, is in trying to understand that particular spark of...imperfection, maybe?...that eludes the Borg. The Borg's weaknesses have to do with an inability to see themselves as imperfect ("believing oneself to be perfect is often the sign of a delusional mind" -- Data), which is an exaggeration of Picard's flaw in the film, where his belief in his evolved sensibilities makes it hard for him to see his errors clearly until Lily points them out to him. Picard/Lily and Riker/Cochrane are similar stories, in opposite directions -- Riker lets Cochrane, deeply flawed man as he is, that he can be a hero, and Lily reminds Picard, deeply heroic man that he is, that he can be flawed.

I have got to say, there is something weirdly primal about the Picard-Data-Borg Queen climax; I mean, it's almost Oedipal, in that Data's apparent turning on Picard and taking on Picard's Counterpart role with the Borg Queen (who, again, sexualizes the "contact") has the hints of a son killing his father and taking his father's wife (i.e. mother). I maybe get chills from watching this section because I remember how intense it was for me as a ten-year-old who briefly believed that Data would actually permamently go over to the dark side, but it still packs a punch for me. Part of the function of the Borg Queen/Data plotline, I should add, is so that in *real time* we basically are shown (not just told) what the Queen tried to do to Picard; I doubt that she literally tried seducing him the way she does with Data, but the inversion of Picard's assimilation (Data is given human skin on a technological body, in contrast to Picard's technological implants) combined with the Queen arguing the case for the Borg philosophy gives some idea of what may have been going on in a nightmarish, subconscious level for Picard -- and which he seems to have somewhat repressed. Picard's going to rescue Data then partly works as Picard rescuing a part of himself which he had apparently "left behind," which is why, in mythic terms, he "earns back" the repressed memories, even if I'm not clear if it makes literal sense. Data and Picard work together to defeat the Queen and save each other in the process.

I do think that the Borg Queen works best (in this film) as a manifestation of the Borg's consciousness, and her/their use of sexuality in an attempt to crack Data (and Picard, Back in the Day), while a little dubious and contrary to the Borg's usual way of operating, makes sense if we view it as the Borg Collective's attempt to "seduce" a willing partner so as to fully understand the beings they believe are interesting. It's still a retcon which in many ways reduces what is interesting about the Borg, but I think it works pretty well for this movie, at least on mythic levels.
Mallory R.
Mon, Jul 27, 2015, 9:48am (UTC -5)
I adored Generations but was initially appalled by this film. My friends and I agreed this was material belonging in STNG season 5. The characters seemed to have to un-developed for the film(s). Clearly this was all meant to attract a larger audience into the cinema (I recall a lot of TV ads, too). The fuzzy thinking Hollywood script treatment made this barely tolerable, and I remain baffled by minor characters like the handsome Lt. and Lily, both given importance but contributing almost nothing.
I just re-watched this as part of watching all of Enterprise, and the best I can say is that it's a boring film. An intelligent, dramatic prologue to Enterprise would have been my preference; all that tacked on Borg junk prevented an interesting story.
Thu, Aug 13, 2015, 6:36pm (UTC -5)
"they wanted to turn you into a mindless drone, to strip you of your individuality and add you to their single-minded collective."
~ You just described the modern Liberal.
Fri, Aug 14, 2015, 9:21am (UTC -5)
@Shoregrey - Oh right, conservatives are exactly the opposite right? There is so much variation there and no group think at all....

(why did I just feed the troll)
Fri, Aug 14, 2015, 6:05pm (UTC -5)
@Robert - I am Libertarian, so you'll get no argument from me there, but it seems that leftist liberals have the upper hand in the media and the public eye these days, so naturally I'm going to go after the bigboy first.

The left wants to control your thoughts/speech and money while the right wants to control you morals, beliefs and sexuality.

Pick your poison.
Mon, Aug 17, 2015, 8:20am (UTC -5)
Ah well, apologies for the troll label. I'd rather be controlled by the media than my church.
Mr. Data
Tue, Aug 25, 2015, 2:35pm (UTC -5)
Shoregrey, you brought politics into a discussion about a sci-fi movie that has nothing to politics. You are, indeed, a troll.
Mr. Data
Tue, Aug 25, 2015, 2:41pm (UTC -5)
*nothing to do with politics, is how it should have read.

If you weren't a troll, you would stick to the topic and resist the impulse to rant about your political enemies.
Thu, Aug 27, 2015, 3:48pm (UTC -5)
A troll for bringing up the fact that Trek and the writing is heavily Left Wing? What planet are you on? It's called discussion. Sci-fi often gets involved in politics by the very nature of the storytelling.
Thu, Aug 27, 2015, 3:49pm (UTC -5)
And that's to "Mr Data", not Robert :)
Wed, Sep 23, 2015, 10:53am (UTC -5)
My thoughts
'three dimensional thoughts' the Queen means that he wasn't on the Cube going to Earth six years previously, she's saying she had a mental presence through the Collective and that's yet Picard recalls it differently with his individual human mind.
The Borgs plan was just to shoot up the launch site to make their prior invasion more successful.
Thu, Sep 24, 2015, 8:59am (UTC -5)
"they wanted to turn you into a mindless drone, to strip you of your individuality and add you to their single-minded collective."
~ You just described the modern Liberal.

Actually, if that describes anything, it's religion.
Mon, Dec 28, 2015, 1:18pm (UTC -5)
"take RLM with a grain of salt. He's pretty biased against the TNG movies as a whole, because he saw the TNG films as a misplaced studio attempt to merely turn a smart franchise into dumb action movies."

Sadly, I don't disagree with this conclusion. In Generations they destroy the Enterprise (a character in of herself) for the sake of a crash landing sequence. In the next three films we get to watch the enlightened Earl Grey drinking Shakespeare quoting Jean-Luc Picard channel his inner John McClane. Yawn.

RLM speaks for a lot of us; I personally find the "character" annoying (too much toilet humor) but the underlying insights are hard to disagree with.
Mon, Dec 28, 2015, 2:15pm (UTC -5)
"In the next three films we get to watch the enlightened Earl Grey drinking Shakespeare quoting Jean-Luc Picard channel his inner John McClane. Yawn."

So they were vastly different from the Jean Luc Jones of Captain's Holiday, Gambit or The Chase? Or John McClane himself from Starship Mine?

Look, you may not like that particularly aspect of his personality, but they flirted with the Captain being an action hero off and on for the final FIVE YEARS of TNG. It wasn't a new thing.

And it's the thing that is easiest to bring to the big screen. Is First Contact one of the TNG cast's best 10 hours? No. Is it a good/fun movie? Yes.

I actually don't mind the others either, but First Contact is in a league of it's own when it comes to TNG. Whereas TOS I thought 4/6 were really good efforts, TNG was closer to 1/4. With Generations being somewhere in between. That said, TNG's bombs were, in my opinion, not nearly as painful as the TOS movies that sucked. Or JJTrek.
Sun, Jan 24, 2016, 5:54pm (UTC -5)
I think people who nitpick to even the smallest details are either:
1) Too dry and detail-oriented to appreciate the bigger picture
2) Lack imagination to fill in the blanks for themselves and thus needs everything spelt out to their faces
Tue, Jan 26, 2016, 2:20pm (UTC -5)
Watched First Contact again two nights ago (insomnia). What a fantastic film. I've always liked it but it just grows on me every time I watch it.
Sat, Jan 30, 2016, 8:45pm (UTC -5)
@Ethereality Ah, the desperate "fill in the blanks" argument. I always see that when a story is full of holes and gaps because of poor writing. What you're doing is apologizing for bad writing by attacking people's intelligence for spotting said bad writing. It isn't fooling anyone.
i am right
Thu, May 19, 2016, 10:22pm (UTC -5)
very nice music in this film. That is all.
Thu, Jun 2, 2016, 1:59am (UTC -5)
If I ended up reading in the news that the dude at Red Letter Media was apprehended cooking meth with Jennifer Lien whilst living in a trailer somewhere in Death Valley, and they defended the double-wide by popping out loose teeth and throwing them at the police, I think I'd believe it.
Thu, Jun 2, 2016, 9:28am (UTC -5)

What does that have to do with ST: FC?
Thu, Jun 2, 2016, 10:21am (UTC -5)
It's a funny and sarcastic editorial on a reviewer of Star Trek: First Contact, who, for the sake of ad impressions and likes, becomes a foul mouthed sophomoric immature and embarrassing member of my species.

Do you identify?
Thu, Jun 2, 2016, 10:49am (UTC -5)
Yeah, I'm not feeling ya. Poor Jenny, though.
Peter G.
Thu, Jun 2, 2016, 12:34pm (UTC -5)
@ Chrome,

It seems like AI random generated comments that can be created on certain websites by providing key terms. Not sure if bots can get through the sophisticated captain-of-the-enterprise security system, but a troll user could surely post gibberish to amuse himself.
Thu, Jun 2, 2016, 8:21pm (UTC -5)
Sorry you and your other handle disagree. Poor Jenny? What about her makes it poor. She's a drug abuser. The other reviewer/site is a collection is of foul mouthed screeds. Jammer runs a top notch site except when some commenters decide their opinion is more important than someone else's.
Thu, Jun 2, 2016, 11:01pm (UTC -5)
So how about those killer robots and that Moby Dick analogy?
Sat, Jun 4, 2016, 11:24am (UTC -5)
Remarkable stuff from remarkable men.
George Monet
Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 3:38am (UTC -5)
Star Trek: First Contact, is by far the best Star Trek film ever made. There's a lot of moving parts with 3 different plots occurring simultaneously but they reinforce each other instead of working against each other or apart from each other and add to the movie as a whole. Needless to say I've watched it many times, the first time my dad took me to the theatre to watch it, so that's probably what sets it apart for me.

Everyone always gushes over Wrath of Khan, but honestly I severely dislike that movie for its over the top silliness and ham fisted acting (Kirk screams Khan!!!!!! only after Khan had already transported him to the planet and was no longer in contact with Kirk, resulting in Kirk making a scream that would only be heard by the people marooned with him, except Kirk knew that he wasn't actually marooned and would saved in a few hours, so that means the scream was for the benefit of the viewers and broke the 4th wall). Voyage Home is the best movie in that series in my opinion. The 1st movie was pretty awful, and the 5th and 6th were flat out unwatchable from what I remember of them. Of course they were so bad I've only seen then once each so I don't really remember them at all.
Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 4:50am (UTC -5)
He screams "Khaaaaaan!" Into his communicator, they were having a whole conversation up to that point (?)
Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 10:59am (UTC -5)
@George Monet

You didn't like "The Undiscovered Country"? I think you better watch it again. It's easily one of the best Trek films out there.
Thu, Oct 20, 2016, 12:37pm (UTC -5)
Jack, you sound like yet another dime-a-dozen, (disgruntled?), (frightened?), (insecure?), shameless, insolent, lazy, know-it-all, total-ignoramus atheist who has zero idea what genuine religion is about, its intentions, and its potential.
Sat, Nov 19, 2016, 8:15pm (UTC -5)
There are some flaws (mostly that some of the Cochrane scenes feel a little too, jarringly, light and there probably should have been a scene with him between being phasered and in the cockpit) but the movie still works excellently as a sequel to "The Best of Both Worlds," a TNG film and a film in itself.
Agreed that the parallels between Cochrane and Picard and Data and their storylines worked wonderfully and the cast was at the least in-character enough, Picard especially was the same character believably grappling with but able to, with help, put aside his darker and more vengeful side.
Sat, Nov 19, 2016, 8:21pm (UTC -5)
I especially like that, though there are some (good) action scenes and Picard is effective in them, he's not some action hero, the film is willing to let Worf and Data be as or more effective and key in the action and the film doesn't feel all about or driven by action.
Sat, Nov 19, 2016, 8:27pm (UTC -5)
I also don't get the view that Trek in the late '90s or especially mid-'00s absolutely needed to reboot, that the reason fans were becoming more dissatisfied was familiarity. Sure there was a lot of story material that could be intimidating to casual viewers but that could also provide foundations for really interesting stories (I think this film is a great example of both working as a sequel/follow-up to TBoBW and the TNG series overall for those who watched while also establishing the backstory and characters very quickly, efficiently and non-boringly for new viewers) or just go to a different time period without a lot of previous details about what it was like.
Wed, May 3, 2017, 3:41pm (UTC -5)
"So they were vastly different from the Jean Luc Jones of Captain's Holiday, Gambit or The Chase? Or John McClane himself from Starship Mine?"

Yes, they were.

"Look, you may not like that particularly aspect of his personality, but they flirted with the Captain being an action hero off and on for the final FIVE YEARS of TNG. It wasn't a new thing."

No they didn't. They never reduced Picard to a shallow one dimensional character like that. There was no, "Data, this is something I have to do" moment on the TV series, where Picard picks up a phaser and single-handily dispatches a few dozen bad guys.

"That said, TNG's bombs were, in my opinion, not nearly as painful as the TOS movies that sucked."

Only if you're viewing them in a vacuum. Yes, Nemesis > STV, but Nemesis killed TNG. We never got an "Undiscovered Country" for TNG. If STV had been the final TOS installment I think TOS fans would be justifiably bitter. First Contact is basically the best TNG movie, "best" in this case being a dumbed down action movie, with the only real "Trek" moments occurring toward the end of the Earth plot.
Tue, May 9, 2017, 3:46pm (UTC -5)
Your minds are indeed too 3-dimentional...I'm guessing the Borg queen is an "idea" rather than a person...embodied by a version of herself on each Borg vessel
Sat, Jun 10, 2017, 10:04pm (UTC -5)
An excellent Trek film and I'd say it's the 2nd best after WoK.

The Borg are the best villains in Trek - understanding how they operate, their purpose, what they can do - it's only appropriate that a Trek film be made about them. It's also great that ST:FC fills in some history about the first contact and Zefram Cochrane.

I've always felt a good Trek episode manages to tie 2 or 3 subplots well together and ST:FC does that well. Again like in BoBW, Picard and Riker are separated and each has to accomplish a mission.

While the characters, action, story, and numerous scenes are really well done, I do have a few nitpicks. Not particularly pleased with how ZC is portrayed as being an alcoholic - I think greater cohesion with "Metamorphosis" is in order. From what I recall of the S2 TOS episode, ZC just had it with humanity and wanted to leave it behind -- that's inconsistent with wanting a bunch of babes on an island. It's fine for ZC not to want to go down in history as a legend, but the writers went too "Hollywood" to try to spice up the film re. his personality.

I don't think there was a need for Lily -- as Jake mentioned, Crusher should have talked sense into Picard re. Captain Ahab vengeance complex.

As for the Borg Queen adding and her sexualization -- this is another aspect the writers should have left out -- this is purely for Hollywood purposes. Also agree with Jammer re. her vague history. Doesn't it violate the collective nature of the Borg - they all fall as she falls? That part was weak.

And there are the usual qualms with time travel - I had no issue with it until in the end, the Enterprise basically pushes a switch and can get back to the 24th century. It seemed to be too easy to do -- the ending wraps up awful quick. All the escape pods find their way to ZC's area in Montana somehow and then off everybody goes to the Enterprise and back to the 24th century.

But aside from the nitpicks, seeing the first contact with the Vulcans was a nice touch. And the scene I enjoyed most was Picard/Worf/token red shirt with the gravity boots on trying to let unlatch the Borg transmitter - gives a realistic sense of the danger being out in space.

The first contact, ZC's warp flight -- these are some of the most important events in Trek's history and this film does it justice. I'm sure there are some loopholes but overall, ST:FC tells the story well and effectively. I enjoyed the ENT episode "Regeneration" that picks up on this story as well.

As the 2nd best Star Trek film, ST:FC deserves 3.5 stars out of 4. I don't think it is as strong as BoBW but it's a great movie, no question.
Sun, Jun 11, 2017, 11:58am (UTC -5)
Just one thing to add - that scene of the first contact with ZC towering over the tall Riker - had to check on James Cromwell's height - listed at 6 feet 6.5 inches, apparently the tallest actor ever nominated for an Academy Award.
Did seem odd in ST:FC that ZC was so tall...
Mon, Jun 26, 2017, 10:13am (UTC -5)
To be frank, I don't like this movie at all, but... it has really fabulous opening sequence (from Picard's dream to the end of the battle of Sector 001) - best piece of grand, cinematic, Trek since The Motion Picture.
Mon, Oct 9, 2017, 8:55pm (UTC -5)
I always liked how sarcastically Picard said the lines "In my century, we don't succumb to revenge. We have a more evolved sensibility."

He KNOWS he's full of it and doesn't care.
Peter G.
Tue, Oct 10, 2017, 11:15am (UTC -5)
@ Silly,

"I always liked how sarcastically Picard said the lines "In my century, we don't succumb to revenge. We have a more evolved sensibility."

He KNOWS he's full of it and doesn't care."

You know, that's a really good point. FC focused so much on the action story and on Picard being Captain Ahab that it failed entirely to cash in on what should have been a very interesting point about humanity changing over the centuries. Picard's statement isn't BS - it should be true. He says it because he knows it's true, or it's supposed to be for people of his time. What's supposed to be poignant is that Picard has become *so damaged* by what the Borg did to him that he has actually fallen below the standard for his time in this one regard. It should be a sad moment where we realize that he was more of a victim than we realize, that he was weakened in his moral character in the specific area of revenge. Even good men can be brutalized and damaged, and that's no shame, but it can still *feel* shameful to be weakened in that way. There might even be an analogy here to being a rape victim, where you can still feel guilty even though there's no guilt.

The Earth in Cochrane's time has just been repeatedly brutalized, through the eugenics wars and then WW3. They're still in pieces when we meet them here, and there's a parallel to be drawn between the beaten humanity, exemplified by a wayward Cochrane who has lost hope, and between Picard, who has likewise been beaten down and lost some optimism. He has something in common with these people, but instead of Lily showing him how she can understand how he feels, that at worst he's only human, we instead are treated to a literary reference which is supposed to be deep but which I thought was trite even in the cinema when it first came out.

In short, the thread of Picard having fallen beneath his own values should have been a strong statement about humility and how even great men can need help. It's something Robert Picard said and he was right. But Moore focused instead on the action plot and on Picard being 'out of control', which made for some 'tension' but wasn't particularly moving in terms of what it meant to him. All Picard needed in the film was apparently to hear one speech, realize his mistake, and then he was ok again. How quaint. I think this was a big waste and is one of the reasons why FC is far more of a disappointment than a success in my book. I've rewatched it a couple of times and I have to say that it's just kind of boring at this point. Even mediocre TNG episodes have more interest for me.
Tue, Oct 10, 2017, 11:30am (UTC -5)
@Silly and Peter G.

I also think they could've handled Picard's moral dilemma in a way that was better connected to the dystopian setting of a post WW-III era. What we got was a very neat moral package not unlike the same one Guinan delivered to Picard in "Generations".

I'm not sure if "sarcastic" is the word you're looking for. Stewart's delivery came off to me as if he was reading the line from a textbook out of memory instead of it being the usual heartfelt statement we're used to hearing. In that sense, Picard really had lost himself, and was merely just talking loftily, instead of actually being the civilized post-war/strife/greed human he purports himself to be.

As for the Robert's speech, Robert Picard actually did say something like "you're going to have to live with this for long time, Jean-Luc" in regards to his Borg assimilation. Though I think "Family" handles this a bit better, I would at least say the film is loosely linked to Robert's statement.
Tue, Oct 31, 2017, 10:38am (UTC -5)
Red Letter Media mentioned this too, but not only does this movie feature random time travel, but the Borg easily could've just used time traveled in another system first then assimilated the Federation without tipping them off. I don't think it cuts into the heart of this piece, but the notion that the Borg's plan B was so much better than their plan A is a major plot hole. They could've avoided it too by saying there was something unique about the Earth's system that allowed Borg time travel.
Wed, Jan 3, 2018, 12:45pm (UTC -5)
Trying to go back in time initially and preventing the Federation would forego getting its (recent) technology. It makes sense to me that the Borg would only be willing to do that, time travel in order to prevent the Federation forming in the first place, after being beaten again.
Wed, Jan 3, 2018, 3:16pm (UTC -5)
The Borg being interested in the Federation for its technology sounds pretty sketchy since we're told they got ahold of volumes of information about Federation technology from Picard and most likely from the ships at Wolf 359 as well. The Borg at this point seem more interested in the Federation for its people and resources than anything else. It's also likely that once the Federation was assimilated, the Borg would be strategically poised to go on to assimilate the other forces in the AQ.
Dr Lazarus
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 12:47am (UTC -5)
This is my favorite Star Trek. It even surpassed the one with the whales. I even learned some trivia, that the crew actually pees, although it is never discussed. But don't say leak though.

It is hard to stay in the movie with so many plot holes though. Why is Cochrane wasting so much time in building a Warp ship when the world is in the middle of WWIII? Is that going to destroy the Nazi's, or whoever the bad faction is in this war? And Cochrane seems to be totally clueless about being in Space. I get the impression he has never been in orbit before. I do know that rocket scientist don't typically get to ride the rockets they design and build, but this seems to be a bit far fetched. Technology is the mother of invention. So the only reason Warp Drive would ever be invented is that space exploration is very limited if it takes hundreds of years to reach the next galaxy or solar system. I never got the impression that Earth spacecraft has ever even gone to space. "Is that Earth"???????? That would be believable if the Enterprise had gone back to 1955 and hooked up with Marty and old Doc Brown in Back to The Future.

And how was it possible to initiate Auto Destruct, if Data locked out the main computer??? Wasn't that the purpose in doing that, so the enemy couldn't take control of ship systems like blowing up the ship or changing the food replicator recipes??? The Borg couldn't even get control of the Photon torpedo's or its tracking system, but destroying the ship was left wide open.

And contacting only planets that have achieved warp, always seemed odd to me. I can see that a planet becomes more sophisticated once they have built a few warp ships and know how to get to Risa to get some action. But the trailer park people in Montana don't seem any smarter an hour after the Vulcans detected a warp signature. They seemed clueless what a rocket ship even was, let alone one that was to be the first ever ship capable of travel at warp speed. And how did the Phoenix get back to Earth so quickly without using warp speed to get back? With the chemical rocket they used to get in orbit, the tiny blue marble that was Earth had to been a few days away. I don't even think they even had impulse power yet. That should had been invented well before warp technology, and made it easier to get in space instead of using an old nuclear rocket to get into space. And how did they get back on the ground? Did it land like a SpaceX 3rd stage booster? Or did they land via parachute in the ocean? There aren't any nearby oceans to Montana.

I won't even get into how the Borg Queen was able to turn on Data's emotion chip, but unable to get the encryption code from his positronic brain. And why Data was unable to turn it back off and add an encryption code to his brain just like he claimed he did with the encryption code to the main computer. And in other episodes, Data could easily choke out Borg's, but this time they easily beat him down. Not sure why he couldn't shut down the subroutine that allowed him to feel pleasure and pain on his synthetic flesh.

It was cool seeing how large a Galaxy Class Star ship really is during the space walk to rid of some Borg who can seem to survive just fine in the vacuum and cold of space, despite having organic bodies with cybernetic implants.

I do try to love this movie despite having my mind wondering why did they do this, or didn't do that.
Cody B
Sat, Jun 23, 2018, 2:47am (UTC -5)
One thing I do not understand is why it was such a secret that it was the Vulcans who make first contact with Earth. Throughout the movie, even when the Enterprise crew was talking amongst themselves, they would say “aliens” made first contact. It seems very bizarre to me that they wouldn’t just say Vulcans.
William B
Sat, Jun 23, 2018, 12:32pm (UTC -5)
It's maybe a contrivance that no one says "Vulcans" throughout the movie, but I get why it was kept as a surprise for the audience -- it's a shock of recognition that ties the movie in with broader Trek history, and by keeping it a surprise to the end, it lets the moment of contact hold the full impact. Pre-Enterprise (and Voyager's periodic references to First Contact), I don't think it was ever made explicit that Vulcans were the first non-humans officially encountered by Earthers. Certainly 10-year-old me was pretty struck by it; maybe adults seeing it for the first time would have figured it out in advance.
Sat, Jun 23, 2018, 3:40pm (UTC -5)
In all the fairness, Riker only calls the Vulcans “aliens” when not around Cochrane in his Captain’s log. And even then, it sounds like Riker is describing a historical event from Earth’s perspective, so “alien” essentially works in context.
Cody B
Sat, Jun 23, 2018, 6:55pm (UTC -5)
That’s kind of what I thought but that’s a 4/10 surprise. I mean maybe if one of the Vulcans was spock or even sarek it would have been a way bigger payoff. Personally I think it would have been funny if the race to make first contact was the ferengi and they tried to bribe the humans to give them valuables in exchange for introducing them to the proper federation authorities for acceptance. Then riker could have taken them aside and made a threat. Or the ship lands and a Vulcan steps out and falls over dead, a trill crawls out of his mouth and into a nearby human. All the other humans look horrified and he says “welcome to space”. Cut tobcredits. Ok I’m just kidding now
Sun, Jun 24, 2018, 7:19am (UTC -5)
I knew it was the Vulcans before they appeared. It was only logical. :-)
Tue, Jul 3, 2018, 7:27am (UTC -5)
Some of the comments in reply to this review are a good reminder of how Trek fans are actually the worst (well, maybe not as bad as Star Wars fans, but it's close) and don't actually deserve good movies like this. If you genuinely don't like it, fine, but the ridiculous level of autistic nit-picking (OH NO WHY DIDN'T THE BORG JUST TIME TRAVEL FROM HOME LOL) is pretty sad to behold and shows how little understanding these people have of what actually makes a good movie.
Tue, Jul 3, 2018, 9:18am (UTC -5)
@CaptainBaggins: As Garak would say, it's best not to dwell on such minutae. :)
Tue, Jul 3, 2018, 11:16am (UTC -5)
It's a good movie but it's far from perfect. And really, would you rather every comment be "4 stars, brilliant!" without any discussion?
Wed, Sep 5, 2018, 9:58pm (UTC -5)
Yes! That was the biggest flaw this film had (IMO). They beat the borg too easy at the beginning of the film and it just felt like a quickly, sloppily thrown together setup for the rest of the film.

That was a shame. They could have done something more plausible and in line with the high quality of the rest of this film and it wouldn't have felt so cheap and implausible.

It was kind of hard for me to really enjoy the stuff they did to "fix the timeline" because the reason the borg chose to alter the timeline in the first place didn't make a lot of sense.
Tue, Nov 20, 2018, 9:08pm (UTC -5)
It's always amusing to look back on the Borg and wonder: why do we find them so terrifying? Here we have a species which personifies like no other what humankind (at least in the Trekverse) claims to aspire to - true interconnectedness. And TNG did brilliantly at showing our fear of losing our limited identities, our fear of real relationship as opposed to the relationship between two small, limited, scared identities. And so our constructed sense of self screams out "No! I can't give up what I hold most dear, otherwise I will be turned into a soulless machine with no sense of agency, and life will be stripped of all its joy". Of course the show never framed it in those terms and it always became about "good" versus "evil", but it's a good psychological study of just how much we fear what we most desire, and how we go about hiding that fear beneath an seemingly innocent facade which places individuality as the epitome of what it is to be "human". That resistance which is futile is nothing more than our resistance to love.
Thu, Mar 28, 2019, 7:13pm (UTC -5)
The best Star Trek Movie imo, and an incredible SciFi Film in general. Jerry Goldsmith knocks the theme out of the park. just unbelievable all around.

The drunk Diana Troy scene is really really good. Zeframe Cochran is great.

“It’s my first RayGun” hahaha great.

The Part when they are explaining to him that the warp engine discovery unites humanity, gives me the chills. I guess I believe that this will come true someday
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 9:21pm (UTC -5)
The film is massively overrated. It was unforgiveable in that it ruined the Borg and their backstory by introducing a queen, which Voyager than ran with, entirely for the worse.

Worst of all, it actually tried to retcon itself into backstory by having Picard say that he "remembered her" from the events of BOBW.

The purpose of Locutus was so that the Borg could "speak with one voice". If they had a Queen, what the hell would they have needed Picard/Locutus for?
Peter H
Sat, May 25, 2019, 5:54pm (UTC -5)
I always have in the back of my mind that this is the "good" TNG film, but I always forget just how good it is.

What I really love about it is how well it balances all its different plot threads, characters, action and themes into a very well-crafted, efficient and functioning whole. The coming together of all the different strands at the end of the film feels so effortless and natural, you're not even aware of the craft of it.

Suspension of disbelief watching Trek is always a necessity, and this film requires that you ignore the perposterousness of the time travel plot (which surely could have been instigated by the Borg well away from Earth, and thus avoiding its foil by the Enterprise crew), as well as accepting the Borg Queen's troublesome contradiction of established lore. What I found most hard to accept about the Queen was her desire to find a companion: this seems an unlikely social goal, particularly for being who is made of many voices. It just flies in the face of what we've seen of the Borg before.

But no matter: what I do appreciate is that the inclusion of the Queen as antagonist serves the movie dramatically, even if it defies logic, and while the time travel plot makes no sense the move zips along so efficiently that only a hardened nitpicker would even think about it.

Special credit goes out here for Patrick Stewart, who turns out what's become my favourite performance of Picard. He gets a lot of screen time and a lot of character work throughout the story. The scene where Lilly goads him into losing control is genuinely shocking, and it shows a real willingness on the part of the writers to show our leader as less than perfect. I always felt that TNG's utopian ideals were a bit of an unrealistic portrayal of our species, despite the fact that the humans of the 24th century were explicitly intended to be our best selves. Picard's hollow remark about "evolved sensibility" is especially clever in this context.

As an aside, I tried getting a non-Trekie to watch this film once and the whirlwind of plot in the first 20 minutes completely overwhelmed him. Incidentally he completely understood Star Trek VI and what it was about with no prior Trek knowledge (and actually while I'm at it he mostly understood and loved Galaxy Quest too). It's not a mark against this film, however, as I think its efficiency is very much to its credit.
Sleeper Agent
Sun, Jun 2, 2019, 6:35am (UTC -5)
I never liked episodes that features distorted timelines, as they mostly use the element of time to create whatever scenario they want without having to bother with explanations. Therefore one can imagine my great disappointment when it in the beginning of First Contact turns out that the Borg has time travel technology.

"just before it explodes, the Borg cube launches a smaller sphere which creates a "temporal matrix" that allows it to travel back to the latter half of 21st century"

Come again? Time travel technology which they for some reason only use as a last resort to get away from Enterprise AND at the same time to assimilate Earth one day before humanity makes first contact with the Vulcans.

This plot alone is not very intelligent, but it's the best we get in this mess; because the rest is basically the rest of the crew trying to convince this alcoholic dimwit that they have to fly his ship as planned(?). The scenery is nice, but why the film makers decided to depict Cochrane and Co. as some hillbillies in a Mad Max-style commune - which a part from the first space ship that can transcend light speed only houses a giant juke box and some bar stools - is beyond me.

Meanwhile, Picard spends an eternity on a Borg infected Enterprise, going from the identical room to the next, either executing assimilated crewmen or tinkering with some circuits.

The Borg queen starts out as an interesting villain, but rather quickly descends to something all too human. The interaction with her and Data is at first quite intriguing, but after a while it seems pointless. It doesn't seem plausible that Data can be converted to a human; and I fail to see the ultimate purpose behind it.

As a long time fan of the series it's heartbreaking to see one of the most enigmatic and iconic villains in sci-fi history be portrayed as something which not correspond with earlier characterizations. Being able to destroy the Borg cube so easily, the Borg queens human like persona and their (new found) ability to travel in time are all things that frankly disrespects what the series established.

It sure looks good, especially the animations in space and the interior of the Enterprise. They also really made an extraordinary effort with the make-up and costumes. The music and sound effects are also of high quality.

However, it's neither convincing, captivating nor, in the end, very entertaining.

1,5 Stars.
Peter G.
Wed, Jun 5, 2019, 11:47am (UTC -5)
Good review, Sleeper Agent. I more or less agree with all of your criticisms, although the film did do one thing correctly, which was to try to be iconic in certain ways in which it somewhat succeeded. Generations aimed low and achieved it, feeling like a mediocre episode at the best of times, and at its worst being overblown in a manner not justified by the premise. FC at least has the right sense of scope and stakes for a Trek film, even though IMO it barely feels like Star Trek and even begins to feel like an Aliens clone in some scenes.

Incidentally the biggest strike I have against it is the soundtrack, which is probably the worst of the franchise to me.
Wed, Nov 27, 2019, 8:29pm (UTC -5)
I liked the episode very much, but always felt cheated that Minister Marasta didn’t get cameos in future episodes. It would have been great to glimpse her months later in Ten Forward - chatting happily with new friends, or earnestly studying warp drive technology.

There are two other characters I always wanted to see In recurring cameos: the shapeshifting alien kid who was invited onto the Enterprise after holding Riker hostage, and the orphaned boy whom Worf adopted in a Klingon ritual.
Wed, Nov 27, 2019, 8:31pm (UTC -5)
Sorry, my mistake. I meant to comment on a ST:TNG episode. I think it has the same name?
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 3:57am (UTC -5)
I am oh so late to this party but I'm well underway in my marathon of TNG (complete), DS9 (on S3), Voyager (S1) and the 1st two TNG movies having just completed First Contact.

I absolutely loved it, especially after being a little let down by Generations' treatment of Kirk's demise and the 'cameos' of the core support cast. The writers seemed to have taken note and given each of the latter mentioned a decent piece of the pie.

I am surprised no one commended the following visuals/ideas that were well done:

1) The new Federation uniforms were a great standout and the lack of such a new spin on Generations was disappointing but made up for here. They looked sharp!

2) The Enterprise E's sleek modifications definitely made the viewer believe that this ain't no TV series but the Big Leagues. Even the warp effect got an upgrade.

3) Geordie's upgraded, new eyes were a magnificent idea and made me wonder why this was not thought of sooner, but lends itself to the idea of the Federation's technology naturally evolving.

4) Liked the evolution of Worf commanding the Defiant, though he relinquishes his captaincy and falls back into his role a bit too easily after being beamed back on board the Enterprise. Would have been nice to get some more insight into how he was selected and by whom.

5) This was mentioned before but Data's more controlled use of his emotion chip was much welcomed.

6) Glad to see the Borg a formidable force again after the Lore storyline/ involvement in TNG derailed that potency somewhat, leaving their demise to interpretation.

This outing gets a 3.5 from me.
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 3:27pm (UTC -5)
I loved this movie, definitely 3.5, but there are two problems with it can't get past:

1. I really don;t like the Borg Queen, not the actual character but the whole concept. The reason the Borg were so scary at first was that they were a collective hive mind, and they stripped you of your individuality and your very self. Now we see a single person as the leader? If you need one drone to speak for the collective when dealing with individual non-hive races then why did she need Locutus all those years ago? I guess for Picard's knowledge f the Federation and its tactics? Then why not just assimilate him? I think this was the start of the "domestication" of the Borg, which came to fruition in Voyager. Yes the Borg are still great villains and scary but now they are just one more in a long list of bad guys over the years.

2. That was a great scene with Lily and Picard in the ready room and the whole Ahab speech, but that should have been Berverly, not Lily. Picard and Crusher have been friends for years and have lots of professional and personal history together, Beverly knows him better and for longer than anyone else on that ship. Their history and their respect and affection for one another has been a constant throughout TNG. Having Beverly just blindly follow his orders while others are questioning them does the character a real dis-service. If anyone can see Picard going off the rails and call him out on it and stand up to him, it would be Beverly, not some random guest star from the past he just met a few hours ago.
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 8:34pm (UTC -5)

First Contact was released and takes place chronologically during DS9's 5th season, FYI. You know, for any niggling details thst didn't seem to mesh for you, you at least have the context of the time passage. ;-P
Sun, Apr 5, 2020, 2:11pm (UTC -5)
In reading the Wikipedia article about First Contact, I noted the following: "Whoopi Goldberg was not asked to return as Guinan." My thinking is that Guinan's presence on the Enterprise-E would have caused a problem with the time-travel aspect of the story, because she already existed in 2063. (Although it’s worth noting that when the Enterprise followed the Borg sphere into the temporal vortex, they didn’t know in what era they were going to end up.) Could the writers/producers have been thinking about this potential problem when they declined to cast Goldberg in the film, or is that giving them too much credit?
Mon, Apr 6, 2020, 8:18am (UTC -5)

I suspect it has less to do with Timey-Wimey problems and more to do with the nature of the movie. For starters, the Enterprise-E has no 10-Forward, so there's no natural place for Guinan to be on the ship. They could have put her elsewhere but the script would only have time for a few lines from her (the same with Beverly Crusher) so it's not really worth Goldberg's time.

Because she also plays a conciliatory role, a natural assumption is that the Lily character could just be replaced by Guinan. However, Guinan hates the Borg more than Picard so it doesn't really fit to have her talking Picard down. Besides that, the two already had this scene about coming to terms with the Borg while burying old grudges in "I, Borg".

If anything, I think Guinan might have been a great addition to Insurrection. That movie has more breathing room and the nature of time and youth would be pertinent to Guinan's character.

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